One of my most treasured memories is snorkeling inside the cone of an underwater volcano off the coast of Maui on my honeymoon.
The crystal clear water was about 50 feet deep and as I swam around I could look down on a dazzling display of sea life, including thousands of colorful fish and swaying sea plants. Then I saw the sharks.
There were three of them and they were about the same length as me. I watched as they swam along the bottom minding their own business. I wasn’t afraid of being attacked. Instead, I was fascinated by how menacing they looked and how incredible it was to be actually swimming among sharks.
Then it struck me: On some days the shark eats you. On other days, you eat the shark.
I was reminded of that experience when I saw shark meat on sale at the one of the local produce marts I visit regularly. It was extremely affordable — $3.99/lb — so I snapped it up.
I have cooked shark before and I remembered that it was a firm-fleshed fish, sort of like tuna but not as flavorful. When I brought it home, I decided to use it in shark kabobs.
Shark meat should not be eaten too frequently because it can have high levels of mercury. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends not eating shark meat more than twice per month, and pregnant women should avoid it altogether.
The meat is quite tasteless and dry, so you probably will want to marinate shark meat before cooking it. You can use a commercial salad dressing or make your own marinade, but you definitely will want to add flavor and moisture to shark.
1 lb shark meat
1 bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large peices
4 button mushrooms
Fresh pineapple, cut into large chunks
Red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tomatoes, cored and halved
1/2 leek, cleaned and cut into large chunks
Fresh cracked black pepper
For the marinade
1/2 cup pineapple juice (or orange juice)
2 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1. Combine pineapple juice, EVOO and garlic in a glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Don’t use a metal mixing bowl or acid could react with the metal and affect the way the meat tastes. Cut shark into large chunks and mix around in the mariade. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove from marinade.
2. Submerge wooden shish kabob spears in water about 10 minutes prior to assembling your shish kabobs. This will help prevent them from burning up on the grill.
3. Assemble your shark kabobs in any order that you like. I always make sure each kabob is exactly the same because when I worked in restaurants customers would complain if somebody else’s kabob had more of one particular item than their kabob. As you assemble the kabobs, lay them out in a baking pan and brush them with the marinade.
4. Preheat grill. When hot, scrape down the grill with a metal brush to remove any debris, then lubricate the grill using a clean rag dipped in oil. Spray the kabobs with pan spray then season them with salt and pepper. Place the kabobs on the grill for about a minute just to mark them, then careful flip over to mark the other side. Remove kabobs to a cooler part of the grill not directly over the heat, brush them again with marinade and let them cook through, about 7 minutes.
I served my shark kabobs on a bed of brown rice and garnished them with fresh cilantro.
Have you ever tried shark meat? What did you think? Share your story in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!