Grilled Shark with Pebre Sauce

The reaction I get to this dish when I mention it is “wait, did you say shark?” Yup, shark. I was compelled to try it when I saw it on sale because shark meat was new to me and I’m always up for something new. I wasn’t quite sure what it would be like, so I opted for some strong, South American flavors–a spicy, orange marinade before the shark hit the grill and a zesty cousin of chimichurri sauce: pebre sauce!

Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed by shark and won’t be in any rush to have it again (but I’ll still happily watch them). If you’ve never had it either, it’s dense and more “meat”-like in texture compared to fish–not at all delicate or flaky (even compared to the density of swordfish). It has a very mild flavor, only slightly reminiscent of fish, but really, it’s quite bland. I do think this recipe would still be quite well suited to other more substantial kinds of fish (e.g. swordfish, salmon, etc) and perhaps even a nice cut of beef, so I’d recommend that to any interested readers unless you already know you enjoy shark.

So the blandness of the shark aside, how was the rest of the recipe? Quite good–the marinade infused a citric, lightly fruity, gentle heat while the pebre sauce was very strong, fresh, and forward flavored–sweet, sour, spicy–it’s a tough one to describe. Like chimichurri, the simplicity of the sauce makes the intensity of it’s flavor a surprising delight. I’d actually originally meant to make chimichurri, but not having everything on hand, I was quickly swayed when I saw what pebre had to offer.

  • ~1 lb shark meat
  • Marinade
    • Orange juice (enough to cover)
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 2 habanero peppers
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • salt
    • olive oil
  • Pebre sauce
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 1 shallot
    • 1 handful cilantro
    • 1 jalapeño
    • 1 serrano
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper

Begin by portioning the shark. Set it aside in a bag/container with all of the chopped up marinade ingredients and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.

While you wait, make the pebre sauce as it will benefit from having some time to sit as well. Get some water boiling, slit an X on the tomatoes, drop them in the water for 30-60 seconds, and then transfer them to some ice water to stop the cooking. In a moment, you should have no trouble peeling off the tomato skins. Then, very finely mince the shallot, jalapeño, serrano, and cilantro (if you want it very fine, consider pulsing these in the food processor very briefly).

Now because my wife loathes onions, I ride a fine line and use shallots in just about everything I cook…but I still have to be careful that the flavor isn’t too strong or they’ll wind up banned from the house just like onions, and then what would I do? (Fall on my chef’s knife, I suppose!) So rather than keeping them raw, I briefly sautéed the shallots in a bit of olive oil to take the edge off a little, but you certainly don’t need to do the same.

In a bowl, toss the minced veggies along with the very finely minced tomato, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and season this to taste. Let it sit for an hour or so before you use the sauce as it will improve with a bit of time.

When time is up, remove the shark from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Warm up your grill, season the shark, and lightly oil it.

Grill the shark for about 5 minutes per side. Then plate it, scoop on a generous helping of pebre sauce, and enjoy!

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26 Responses to “Grilled Shark with Pebre Sauce”

  1. aforkfulofspaghetti Says:

    I totally agree with you about shark. It ain’t all that. But your recipe sounds about as nice and tasty a way to serve it up as any.

  2. clumbsycookie Says:

    Shark???? I think it’s the first shark review I see, nice to know! I would never thought of eating shark myself!

  3. Bunny Says:

    The shark wasn’t to your liking, I’m not sure weather it would be to mine either. You just don’t know till you try it but I ,m glad the rest of the meal was good!

  4. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    I’m not a big fan of shark either, but I love this preparation! It would certainly work on any firmer fish. The Pebre sauce looks fantastic, and I still have a few of my home grown jalapenos left!

  5. Judy Says:

    Shark? Not a fan. I don’t like the texture or the taste. Love the Pebre sauce though and could find a million uses for it!

  6. Kevin Says:

    I have never had shark but it certainly looks good!

  7. Anali Says:

    Interesting that the shark is more meaty in texture than fishy. Being such a powerhouse, it makes sense.

    I don’t think I’ll be trying shark any time too soon, but I sure like the idea of me trying shark more than the other way around!

  8. Andrea Says:

    How ironic that shark would be bland! However, the sauce is beautiful and now you have one more thing to check off the proverbial list. I probably would have bought shark also, if it has just been sitting there on sale, but it’s such a strange thing to just stumble on!

  9. Hélène Says:

    Years ago my son was invited to sail with friends. When he got back home he told me that his new favorite dish was shark. I was surprised that a 10 yr old liked shark. He said that it was really good. I love the color of that sauce.

  10. Jude Says:

    I though it was a typo or something.. for pork.. Of course I’d still be the first in line to try this. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

  11. noble pig Says:

    I haven’t had shark in years, but I always remember liking it. Sorry it wasn’t the greatest for you but it sure looks good.

  12. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    I agree — shark is quite mild and needs a strong flavoring. Persian spices also work quite nicely with shark.

  13. Ivy Says:

    I’ve never had shark before but at least when one is fished every now and then in Greece, they make it a big deal and they say that it is a very tasty kind of meat.

  14. RecipeGirl Says:

    I haven’t tried it… it looks rather like swordfish or even halibut but it was much different, eh? Well, you don’t know you like it unless you try it. Good for you for giving it a shot!

  15. Sig Says:

    Totally agree with you that shark is a bland fish. It is a great fish to absorb all the spiciness and tanginess of a South Indian fish curry though, and is quite a delicacy over there. Love this recipe btw!

  16. Bellini Valli Says:

    Good call to spice up the shark. I had it years ago in Florida along with the tiniest of scallops:D

  17. dp Says:

    I’ve never had shark either. I don’t think I’ve even seen it anywhere here. I wonder if it an be eaten rare or medium like tuna or if it has to be cooked through? Now my interest is piqued.

  18. Peter Says:

    Mike, I’m with you. I was underwhelmed by shark and yes, it’s very dense. Although not expensive, I would probably go for grouper or sword fish instead.

    The Pebre sauce looks dang’ good and hmmm…perhaps with some grilled marlin?

  19. heather Says:

    hmmm. this looks lovely, but i don’t think i’ll ever eat shark. as an avid scuba diver, i don’t want any bad karma when i get into the water with those suckers 😉 the sauce sounds great, though!

  20. Sara Says:

    My husband likes thresher shark, but I haven’t seen it in the grocery store for ages.

  21. Alexa Says:

    Both my husband and I were tricked into eating shark at different times in our lives–him in Japan, me by my own mother (lol). The marinade looks great but I would try it on a different fish. This was a fun post Mike!

  22. the caked crusader Says:

    Wow – how exotic! I’ve never seen shark on offer anywhere. Worth trying just to tell people you’ve eaten Jaws!

  23. grace Says:

    i’ve never eaten shark or seen it offered on a menu–this is very exciting to me. sorry to hear it wasn’t spectacular, but i’m loving the pebre.

  24. mikky Says:

    never tried shark meat, only shark’s fin… your preparation looks good though… :)

  25. zenchef Says:

    I agree, Shark can be really bland but it was a good idea to marinate it, grill it and serve it with a chimichurri-type sauce. I bet swordfish would be nice prepared the same way.

  26. kittie Says:

    I’ve only had shark once – and remember quite liking it! It was in stew type dish, where the density worked well.

    The pebre sauce is right up my street!

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