“Swai?” you say. "What in the world is swai?" Swai is a fantastic white fish that comes from southeast Asia. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor, which is absolutely delicious. It holds up well to grilling, assuming you don't over handle it while cooking, and it pan sears well too. It is now available in frozen form in many grocery stores and best of all, it is quite affordable.
For today's recipe, we sprinkled the fish with a commercial fish rub and prepared a delicious fire-roasted salsa to liberally pile on top. A delicious meal that’s fresh, healthy and affordable, and can be prepared over real charcoal or on the gas grill: What's not to like? We grilled four swai filets for this recipe.
Fire roasted salsa
- 2 to 3 tomatoes – depending on size
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 2 ears of corn with husk
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 minced garlic clove
- chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
Wrap the two ears of corn in a wet kitchen towel. Microwave on high for four minutes. Take out, let cool for a bit and peel off husk and silk. You will find that it comes off easily.
Cut the tomatoes and onions into thick slices. Split the peppers and scoop out the rib and seeds. Be very carful to not rub your eyes after handling the peppers. Wash hands thoroughly after seeds and ribs are scooped out.
Brush the corn, peppers, tomatoes and onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place directly over coals or flames on the grill. Stay with the vegetables making sure nothing burns, flipping regularly. After a light char is created (takes 5 minutes or so) pull off the grill and place on a cutting board.
Once cool enough to handle, cut the corn off the cob and cut remaining vegetables into small pieces. Be sure your knife is very sharp, otherwise you will turn the tomatoes into a mush, soupy mess. Place all vegetables in a bowl (juice and all). Mix the cumin, garlic and lime juice together. Pour onto vegetables and toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the thawed filets with your favorite seasoning. Scrub the grill with a wire brush to remove all grilling residue from the vegetables. Apply olive oil to the grates with an old towel or paper towel to prevent sticking. Place fish directly over coals or flame. Allow to cook for 4 to 5 minutes with the lid open. Gently turn and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the fish and place on platter.
Place a piece of fish on a plate and pile some fire-roasted salsa on top. Obviously the salsa would go with almost any grilled fish, but I would encourage you to give swai a try.
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes the "BBQ My Way" column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.