Portuguese Swordfish Kabobs

Two Portuguese swordfish kabobs with garlic, olive oil, and piri-piri peppers on a black plate

Swordfish is one of only three fish firm enough to keep its shape on a skewer; the others are tuna and monkfish, the poor man’s lobster, either of which can be substituted in this recipe. Espetadas (kabobs), bite-size pieces of meat or fish threaded onto sharpened sticks, are the fairground treat on the island of Madeira. They’re eaten with bread rolls (bolos do caco): yeast-raised buns the size of a dinner plate, traditionally cooked on a bakestone (caco) made of basalt, the rock of which the island is formed — though in modern times, rather less romantically, the caco is made of concrete.–Elisabeth Luard

Portuguese Swordfish Kabobs

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 4
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  • For the marinade


Thread the fish onto skewers and arrange them on a flat dish.
Combine the marinade ingredients, pour them over the kabobs and leave them for an hour or two to take the flavors.
Remove from the marinade and drain thoroughly.
Heat a small barbecue or broiler to maximum heat and grill the fish kabobs fiercely. Serve with white rice or soft cornmeal porridge (polenta).
Print RecipeBuy the The Food of Spain and Portugal cookbook

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