Shark Week was last month. I know.
We’re a little late with this post.
This has got to be one of my favorite meals. It’s one of The Angry Chef’s old standbys. He introduced me to shark, and it never disappoints.
If you’ve never had the fish before, you’re in for a treat.
It’s thick and meaty like swordfish, but tastes slightly sweeter (and is usually significantly cheaper).
Our shark was about $4/lb. at our local H-Mart—and fresh as can be. And because it’s shot through with fat, it stays moist when you cook it.
We sprinkled the steaks with Cajun spices, then seared them in butter and olive oil, and deglazed with spiced rum and a little freshly squeezed lime juice.
The only downside? Like swordfish, shark is high in mercury, so you shouldn’t eat it frequently.
Mercury’s a neurotoxin, so it’s definitely a warning to heed. Read more about all that here.
It’s also not the most sustainable seafood, so if that’s an issue on your radar, all the more reason to not eat it frequently.
And always be sure that you’re purchasing from a reputable market.
We served our shark steaks with saffron rice and asparagus sprinkled with little Parmesan.
As with most seafood dishes, make your sides first, and then cook the fish when you’re ready to eat.
It will cook in about 20 – 25 minutes, so you want everything ready to go when the fish is hot out of the pan.
This recipe is more method than anything.
We used a homemade Cajun spice blend, spiked with Aleppo chili flakes, but you can use any combination that works for you.
Pan-Seared Shark Steaks
2 shark steaks
1 lemon, cut into slices
4 Tablespoons Cajun spices
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup spiced rum
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Serves 2 – 3 generously
Note: This recipe is for 2 steaks, but we’re only showing one in the pan here to illustrate.
Prep the shark steaks
Rinse the shark under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cover the shark with lemon slices.
Pop them into a bag and stick them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
This will help neutralize any gaminess in the meat (depending on how old the shark was when it was caught).
How to cook the shark steaks
Yank the shark out of the fridge.
Toss them on a board and sprinkle each steak evenly with about a tablespoon of Cajun spice on one side.
Put the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, nonstick pan and set it on the stove over medium-high heat.
Set the fish in the pan, spice-side down.
Sprinkle each naked side with about a tablespoon of Cajun spice.
Cook over medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes, or until well browned on the bottom and cooked about halfway through.
How thick is your fish? A quick note on timing.
How long you need to cook the steak on each side will depend on how thick your fish is.
Just keep a good eye on it. And turn the heat down if your garlic starts to scorch.
After about 10-12 minutes, flip the shark steaks over.
Cook for about another 10-12 minutes on that side, until the fish is browned on the bottom and cooked through the middle.
(If you don’t cook fish often, cut a little nick in the middle and take a peek inside.
If it’s opaque through and through, it’s done.
If it’s still pink or translucent, it needs to cook longer.)
When the fish is just about done, add the spiced rum and last tablespoon of butter to the pan.
Whack the lime in two and squeeze both halves into the pan. Sprinkle with lime zest.
The spiced rum / butter / lime juice shebang turns the pan juices into a gloriously tangy, caramelized sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
Slide the fish out onto your plate along with any side dishes.
Drizzle with a little pan sauce.
Garnish with a few more slices of lemon and lime, if you like.