| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 15 mins
| Total Time: 45-60 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Hot summer nights call for simple meals that are quick to prepare and easy to share. But you shouldn't have to sacrifice flavor in the name of saving time. These BBQ fish skewers (Shashlik) fit the bill and are popular all around the Caspian Sea region in Central Asia. Typically marinated in a light dressing of lemon, oil, salt, and fresh seasonal herbs like dill and parsley, these lemon pepper fish kebabs deliver wonderful flavor in minutes.
Fish tends to cook quickly on the BBQ. So, for best results, you'll want to select a firm fleshed variety that won't break apart or cook so quickly on the grill that it dries out. We used swordfish and the results were sublime. You can also use tuna, salmon, sea bass or halibut. You'll want to set a timer and monitor the fish skewers closely. You're better off pulling them off a little early and checking a piece for doneness than overcooking. We add one of our proprietary blends we call 'Caspian Lemon Pepper' to a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice to add an authentic, zesty seasoning for this recipe. You can also substitute shrimp, pork, chicken, or more veggies like zucchini for the fish but will need to adjust cooking times accordingly.
1.5-2 lbs firm fish filets or steaks (swordfish, tuna, salmon, or black cod), cut into cubes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (optional)
1 large red onion, sliced into wedges for skewering
~12-16 baby portobello or crimini mushrooms
2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced into sections (optional, for spicy heat)
wooden or metal BBQ skewers
extra lemon wedges for garnish (1 lemon)
Tip: if you're going to use wooden skewers on the BBQ, first soak them in water for ~15 mins before you prep the fish. This prevents them from catching on fire.
Don’t have skewers? If you have leftover chopsticks from Chinese takeout, they work great. Otherwise, you can just grill or broil directly. [Hint: save extra chopsticks in the future just for grilling or broiling!]
If you don't have a BBQ grill, try using your oven broiler. We love using the broiler, especially for colder months. Instructions: Adjust the oven rack 6-9 inches from the top. Preheat the broiler on High and place BBQ fish skewers (Shishlaki) on a foil-lined pan. Cook skewers for 4-6 mins before flipping. Watch the oven carefully! Turn skewers just as they start to char on the top side. Set a timer as the broiler can burn food very quickly.
Tip2: Save time by asking your fishmonger to trim the skin and cut the fish into the 2" cubes.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
First, using a sharp knife, trim skin from fish flesh and cut into 2" cubes. Juice 2 lemons into a Medium bowl. Add the salt, olive oil, Caspian Lemon Pepper blend, and fresh dill to bowl. Stir to combine marinade. Add the fish, then gently mix and cover, before refrigerating for 20 and up to 60 mins.
Before the fish is done marinating, slice the other fresh ingredients. Then, remove the fish and begin to assemble skewers by alternating ingredients to your liking.
Next, heat the BBQ grill. If your grill has an indirect heat section (raised rack), place the skewers there. If not, you'll want to turn down gas to a lower setting like Med-Low and place skewers on grill. If using coals in your BBQ, then you will adjust vent settings so that the coals are glowing not flaming, risking burning the fish. [note: if you don't have a grill, see the Chef's notes section above how to cook these in the oven using the broiler].
Finally, cook skewers about 5-7 mins then rotate to cook the other side for another 5-7 mins. Total cook time may vary by grill so you'll want to closely monitor with a timer. Serve with a side salad or roasted/grilled summer veggies like asparagus or squash.
This BBQ Fish Skewers (shashlik) recipe definitely delivers loads of flavor in minutes. But there are lots of ways to use our Caspian Lemon Pepper blend. Try our recipe for Baliq Levengi (Baked Stuffed Fish with Tumeric Rice)
First, you can substitute this spice blend pretty much anywhere you would use a standard lemon pepper blend. Try this as a rub on roast/grilled chicken or on salmon. Or marinate the chicken using the marinade in this recipe.
Here's 10 more recipe ideas for using lemon pepper seasoning. Simply substitute an equal amount of Caspian Lemon Pepper in the recipe.
Another delicious option is to make a Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon. Make the marinade in the recipe above and marinate salmon filets for 20 mins (marinade should cover up to 2 lbs. For <1 lb of fish, cut marinade in half). Pre-heat oven to 400 deg. Line a baking pan with foil and dust with cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 mins.
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