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Swordfish Souvlaki with Fennel Salad


This seriously tasty skewered swordfish recipe features the flavours Cle-ann grew up with – authentic Greek oregano, lemon juice and olive oil. According to Cle-ann, these three ingredients are the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Greek cooking!

This dish is made 1000x more flavoursome and aromatic by using authentic Greek oregano, or ‘rigani’, which is dried on the stem, and can be found in Greek supermarkets or grocery stores.  So much tastier and more fragrant than the dusty dried oregano in jars you can find in your regular supermarket… seriously!  Highly recommend seeking out the real stuff for the tastiest results!

19th May, 2015
Cle-ann Stampolidis
Tuesday 19th May 2015

As a young adult, I was never the greatest fisherman (fisherwoman?), but I was still a popular choice to accompany mates as we dangled a line and indulged in a beer (or three). There was a reason for this of course, unlike my mates, I knew what to do with the little buggers once we’d caught one. Cleaning and gutting fish is an underrated aspect of fishing!

Like so many things in life, I learned to prepare fish this way from my Mum. As a child I would peer over the kitchen sink, standing on tippy toes, watching Mum as she cleaned and gutted a fish. It might sound a bit gruesome, but I always found it fascinating! Mum would always try to make our time together in the kitchen fun and interesting, and this was no different – she’d find the fish’s stomach and we’d examine the contents to determine what the fish had been eating.

This swordfish recipe features the flavours I grew up with, Greek oregano, lemon juice and olive oil. The Greek Holy Trinity of cooking. So if you try just one of my recipes, make sure it’s this one!

The fish combined with the freshness of the fennel are a match made in heaven. Also, I challenge any person who would usually banish red onion to the side of their plate to give this one a try. Like Mum, I put a high value on taste and health, so garlic and onion are eaten almost everyday. But with this recipe I’ve slightly pickled the red onion, so it’s very mellow; that pungent and lingering aftertaste is eliminated, so the fish really is the star here.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the swordfish

  • 1kg swordfish (ask your fishmonger for 2 slices cut 2 inches thick), diced into cubes
  • Juice and zest of one huge lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 generous tbsp Greek oregano (rigani) - try and get the authentic Greek version, dried on the stem, from a Greek supermarket or grocery store.
  • Big splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Murray River salt flakes
  • Ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 red onion, shaved
  • Juice of 1 huge lemon
  • Murray River salt flakes
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, shaved
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Generous splash of extra virgin olive oil


Place all swordfish ingredients in a ceramic bowl, mix together using your hands until the fish is well coated. Cover and set aside to marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.

Place red onion, lemon and a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix it together with your hands and let it sit so that it slightly pickles. Set aside, mixing randomly.

Heat a large griddle pan on high (or heat BBQ grill or charcoal). Thread swordfish onto metal skewers. Place fish on hot griddle (or grill) and cook until charred or 3­-4
minutes each side.

Meanwhile add the remaining salad ingredients into the bowl with onion and mix well. Serve immediately!

The secret ingredient in this dish is Greek oregano called ‘rigani’, which is used as the basis for the swordfish marinade. It is SO much more aromatic and flavoursome than regular dried oregano in a jar. Try greek grocery stores for the authentic version (dried on the stem). Recipe by Cle-ann Stampolidis. Ceramic Tiles from Jatana Interiors. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

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