Swordfish in Sriracha Escabeche Sauce

Swordfish in Escabeche Sauce

Sweet and tangy with a little kick of heat on the end and pretty, too. This is a flavor packed, simple meal that will excite your tastebuds and make you smile.

Most people believe escabeche is a Spanish dish referring to a process of pickling. Au contraire mon ami, according to linguists, escabeche comes from the Hispanic Arabic word assukkabáğ, which in turn comes from the Arabic sikbāğ, which is derived from the Persian term sekbā, meaning “meat stew with vinegar.” Food historians trace the origin of  escabeche to Persia in the 6th Century. During this time period Persia was the center of the world economy. Its king, King Khosrau I Anushirvan, had a favorite dish called sikbāj, from sik, Persian for “vinegar”, and bā meaning “broth.” So popular was the dish that it was a Royal delicacy for nearly 300 years. With the great Islam outpouring westward, the dish was brought to Spain in the 8th Century where fish escabeche became a favorite of the sailors in the Mediterranean. From there, the Spanish sailors brought the dish to the Spanish territories from Europe to the Americas, the Philippines and Guam. The dish is known as “escoveitch” or “escoveech fish” in Jamaica, as “escabecio”, “scapece” or “savoro” in Italy, “savoro” in Greece, “scabetche” in North Africa and escaveche in Belgium. Some preparations serve escabeche cold; whereas, others serve it hot. Some people marinade the meat before cooking; whereas, others do not. Regardless, escabeche is typically a poached or fried meat with vegetables in a vinegar sauce.

This recipe comes from Jeannie at Goddess of Scrumptuousness. Her photo made my mouth water and I knew I had to try her dish with some variations. This is a simple but elegant meal that you can make from start to finish in 30 minutes, so it’s another dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal. We hope you give this a try and thanks Jeannie for the wonderful inspiration. 😀


  • 3 swordfish steaks, roughly 3/4 inch thick
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger, julienned
  • 1 large red onion, julienned
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and julienned
  • 2 scallions, sliced diagonal

Escabeche Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 cups Dashi (recipe found here)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl, whisk all the escabeche sauce ingredients together to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Set aside.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Add 1/4 cup oil to a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic and onions and sauté for until aromatics are fragrant.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Add orange bell pepper and tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Pour escabeche sauce over vegetables.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

While you prep and cook the fish, let the sauce simmer over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

While the sauce is simmering, season swordfish steaks with salt and pepper.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

In a heavy skillet, add the remaining peanut oil and heat over high heat. Add the swordfish to the hot oil and fry.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Because swordfish is such a beautiful dense, meaty fish I like to cook mine no more than medium rare which is roughly 2 minutes per side. If you like yours done more then cook it another 2 minutes. Remember, the residual heat is going to cook the fish after it’s removed from the heat. Also, at the end you are going to pour the hot sauce on top of the fish which also will cause the fish to cook further. So whatever you do, do not overcook your fish.

To Plate: Place a scoop of rice in the middle of a bowl.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Place fish on top of rice.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Spoon vegetables and sauce over fish.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Top with sliced scallion greens

Swordfish in Escabeche Sauce

Serve & enjoy!

Swordfish in Escabeche Sauce

19 thoughts on “Swordfish in Sriracha Escabeche Sauce”

  1. I don’t know how you do it but you work miracles with fish. Plus you make me want to try fish I’ve never had before (like swordfish). We’re close to Jamaica so we have escoveetch here but I’ve only tried it with conch and grouper. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Thanks for your very nice compliment. You are always very kind. Given Baby Lady & I don’t eat a lot of red meat, we get a lot of practice with fish. 🙂 If you get the chance I hope you give this a try. It really is simple, quick and full of flavor. Another fish you can use with this recipe is mahi-mahi. Grouper would be good, too, as would marlin. We like swordfish because it is a dense and meaty fish.

  2. Your recipe sounds good and very different from what I have had at restaurants in Florida. What I have had has always been cold and didn’t have tomato sauce. Something new to try.

    1. There are many variations of escabeche. This one is more of a Filipino escabeche which is traditionally served hot with white rice. We really loved this meal. It’s sweet and sour with unbelievable depth of flavor from the garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes and ginger. I hope you try it.

  3. I cannot speak of Jeanine’s photo but yours has me wanting to dive right in! This really is an appealing dish, Richard. And it really isn’t a complex recipe to follow either. I need to make this!

  4. Wow that looks FABULOUS! I adore swordfish but hardly eat it because of its mercury content, although… this recipe just makes me want to head to the store to buy it! Halibut is just not the same! lol.

    1. Thanks for your nice comment. Halibut would be a fine substitute, as would marlin, grouper, mahi-mahi, chilean sea bass or even maki shark. We like swordfish because of its dense, meaty texture which is why we chose it for this application. Whatever fish works for you would be fine. 🙂

      1. Whoa! Will do. Hey, I just realized you’re in dallas. Strangely enough, my hubs and I spent the night at the DFW Grand Hyatt before taking off to St. Lucia, and we had the most perfect meal there! It floored me! I had 2 starters – a pork belly, and then an grilled octopus salad. Really unbelievably good. Of course, I love many Dallas restaurants, but didn’t expect much from an airport hote restaurant!!!
        Just in case you’re ever in the same situation, although I don’t see how if you live nearby…..

        1. Actually, we stay at that hotel when we go on vacation because we typically leave on the redeye in the morning. It’s a 40 minute drive without traffic to get to the airport from our house so staying at the Grand Hyatt alleviates the stress of an early morning. We have eaten there on several occasions and the food is very good for a hotel. They also have a decent wine selection.

        2. Oh I’m glad you were aware of it! And they had my favorite white wine!!! We’ve lived in Dallas four different times so I completely understand why you would do that.
          We never could figure out all of the lights in our room, though!!!

Leave a Reply to Karen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s