Kebab-e Mahi: Fish Kebab in Spicy Saffron-Marinade


If you are barbecue lover who frequently pairs a tasty kebob with their summer brewskis, you have the Iranians to thank.  This version is a little different than the kebobs you typically see on Chicago roof top grills.


The marinade for these fish kebobs are thickened with yogurt, given gorgeous color from saffron and packed with flavor from chile, garlic, onion and lime juice.  Use decent size chunks of a firm fish and they’ll hold together great on the grill.


All ready for the grill

Pair this with flatbread, rice and maybe a little shirazi salad and you have a crowd pleasing Persian meal that will really up your bbq game.


You’ll need:

  • 1.5 pounds skinless, firm fish cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • Salt/Pep
  • 0.5 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
  • 0.25 cup freshly squeeze lime juice
  • 0.5 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (not greek or thick yogurt)
  • Optional: parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish

To Make:

  1. If you are using wooden kabob sticks, soak in salted water for several hours.  I needed 6 sticks.
  2. Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle.  Stir in 3 teaspoons warm water.  Set aside.
  3. Combine the onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, yogurt and saffron.  Season with salt/pep.  Can be made several hours in advance.
  4.  In a bowl, combine beans, tomatoes (and their juices), garlic, basil, big pinch of salt, pepper, and one tablespoons olive oil.  Set aside on the counter, can be made several hours
  5. Pat fish dry with paper towels. Skewer 5-6 pieces on the skewers (close together).  Brush aggressively with marinade.
  6. Prepare hot girl.  Grill kabobs roughly three minute per side until just cooked through.  Garnish with parsley and pomegranate.  Serve with rice and flatbread.

*I used Chilean Sea Bass.  Halibut would also be great.

Inspired by TheNewPersianKitchen

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