Grilled Amberjack (Magiatiko)Aug 10th, 2011 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Featured, Fish, Greek, Greek Grill, Greek Wine, Herbs, Main, Olive Oil, Pantry
Love fish? You’re going to adore the amberjack fish. Love swordfish? You may ditch it after you’ve tried amberjack. The amberjack is a fish that’s found in the Caribbean and the eastern seaboard of both North and South America and thankfully here in the Mediterranean. Us Greeks call this fish “magiatiko” as it’s in season from May until summer’s end. The amberjack “seriola dumerili” can grow up to 50 inches in length and can weigh more than 150lbs!
I first tried this fish back in May when I visited Greece courtesy of an invitation to the Sani Gourmet Festival. I was served pan-seared Magiatiko (amberjack) by chef Theodore Kyriacou then I tasted this fish for a second time at a seafood BBQ catered by the Sani Resort. Pun intended but I was hooked…loved this thick fish steak that was not dry, tasted wonderful and is very forgiving on the grill.
The amberjack is a beautiful fish with lavender and gold tints and an amber that spans from eye to tail. It’s caught by commercial fishermen and yes, it’s a fighter when it comes to catching it and it can be found over reefs or shipwrecks. Like any other fish, one should choose an amberjack that smells of the sea, has a shiny surface with tight scales, bright (not sunken) eyes and deep red or ink gills.
One should also choose amberjack steaks or fillets that have very little bruising or blood visible in the meat. The meat should be pink in colour and ideally one should ask for steaks/fillets that are about 1 inch thick. The amberjack has a similar mild flavour to swordfish but it’s not as dry and frankly more forgiving when grilling it.
This fish should be grilled, pan-fried or broiled and the seasoning should be very simple so that one may taste this fish. Some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and slap on the grill. All that’s needed to complete this dish is a simple ladolemono (oil/lemon sauce) spiked with the herb of your choice (dried Greek oregano on this occasion) and a wedge of lemon for garnish. The best way to describe the taste of amberjack is that it’s very much like swordfish but more succulent – it doesn’t dry out as easily. Swordfish would be like pork tenderloin and amberjack is like a juicy pork chop in comparison.
I served the grilled amberkack with a no-mayo potato salad and a refreshing salad made of rock samphire that I picked off the rocks near the beach where I swim just today! Samphire is another ingredient I’ve newly discovered and you’ll have to wait for the that recipe in coming posts.
Grilled Amberjack (Μαγιατικο στη Σχαρα)
2 amberjack steaks (they are big) or 4 boneless fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
lemon wedges for garnish
- Rinse and pat-dry your fish and set aside. Place the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest in a glass dish and mix well. Now add the fish and ensure it’s thoroughly coated with the marinade. Place in the fridge for an hour. Remove from the fridge about 1/2 hour before grilling (or until it returns to room temperature).
- Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill with the aim of attaining a medium-high heat. Thoroughly brush the grill surface, with the aim of having a clean grill surface/reducing the chance of fish sticking. When your grill is hot, dab some paper towel in some vegetable oil and wipe/lubricate your grill surface.
- Season both sides of your fish with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and place on the hot grill. Grill for 7 minutes without touching then flip and grill for another 3 minutes (your fish shouldn’t stick to the grill). In the meantime, whip up a batch of latholemono in a bowl and set aside.
- Remove your fish and place on a platter with wedges of lemon and spoon over the Latholemono sauce on the fish. Serve with a chilled bottle of Kir Yanni Akakies Rose.
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© 2011, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.