Suya Swordfish

By • July 16, 2010 58 Comments

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Author Notes: This is an adaptation of a Nigerian peanut marinade, which is commonly spread over meat, skewered and then cooked over hot coals/firewood. We call it suya and it is popular streetfood - the kind of thing Nigerians in diaspora miss when they're away from home! - Kitchen ButterflyKitchen Butterfly

Food52 Review: Swordfish's meaty taste and texture take to grilling beautifully. Kitchen Butterfly's peanut marinade enhances the partnership, cloaking each strip of fish in a spicy, tangy, mildly sweet sauce that caramelizes gently on the grill, lending a mild smokiness. Using homemade peanut butter is a nice touch, and a spritz of fresh lime juice before eating is a must. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 2-4

Suya Swordfish

  • 400g swordfish steak, cut into 8 long thick strips
  • Portion of peanut butter, recipe below
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 -2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Thinly sliced red onions, tomatoes, lime halves and coriander leaves, to serve
  1. Make the peanut paste by combining peanut butter, paprika, chili pepper, salt, ground ginger and lime juice.
  2. Stir well and taste. Adjust spices as necessary
  3. Place fish strips in a large bowl and pour peanut sauce over it, then using your hands, mix well ensuring the pieces are coated with the sauce.
  4. Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to cook, prepare the bbq and let the coals heat up till fiery red.
  6. Then pass (soaked wooden) skewers through each piece of swordfish, and place on an oiled rack. Let cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, then flip over and let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes. If not ready, remove to part of grill where heat is indirect and let cook till ready.
  7. Serve with thinly sliced red onions, sliced cherry tomatoes, lime halves and coriander leaves

Peanut Butter

  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, skinned
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a blender or food processor, grind the peanuts till they are crushed. The ground nuts will stick to the sides of the mixing container, so using a spatula, loosen bits from the bottom and round the sides.
  2. Then add oil, drizzling in along with a pinch of salt, blending till you get a 'thick cream' consistency.
  3. Use as directed above.

Tags: can be made ahead, Easy, Nigerian, spicy, street food

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Comments (58) Questions (1)


about 1 month ago kitten boo boo

How dare you bastardize my cultures finest gourmet cuisine. I want reparations.


9 months ago JanetRoss

I made this with center-cut 1" thick swordfish steaks grilled to perfection for 4 minutes per side and served it with basmati and grilled asparagus.


about 2 years ago Effie

I so wanted to make this and didn't have swordfish, but I had shrimp.....Perfection.


almost 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Yay. Glad it worked out!


over 2 years ago Jennifer Peterson

What sides would you suggest with this?


almost 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Sorry Jennifer - this is great with steamed rice, and tomato salsa (with cilantro). 5 months apologies


about 4 years ago G1G1626

Okay whoa! Fish + Peanut Butter - NO WAY!


about 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Strange but true Gigi1626....they work a treat.


over 4 years ago Emi

made this last night with boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooking them under the broiler
so complex and delicious, thank you!


about 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Thanks Em - glad you enjoyed it!


over 2 years ago Skl

Hi - what kind of chili pepper did you use? A hot or mild one? I'm making this right now. Also my peanut butter came out a little soupy, is that ok? Thanks!


over 2 years ago Skl

Wait now I'm wondering if you meant chili POWDER?


almost 5 years ago Amaka

Love this website



almost 5 years ago MyCommunalTable

Congratulations! Keep inspiring! I have a son that is half Nigerian and I am always looking for ways to show him his culture. The pictures on your blog were fun for him to look at.


almost 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

:-), thank you and I'm glad he liked the photos on my blog - In fact since I began blogging I wish I could go back to Nigeria with my new eyes and taste buds for food!


about 5 years ago ENunn

Way to go, KB! Looking forward to having this for dinner soon.


about 5 years ago cucinettaNYC

Congratulations Kitchen Butterfly!


about 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Oh my WORD - I am excited beyond belief to reach a food52 final and win. If I could do cartwheels, I would ....a bit too heavy :-). Thank you everyone


about 5 years ago lapadia

I love it!!! Congratulations!!!


about 5 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations!!! You really deserved this win...a great recipe.


about 5 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats! Wonderfully done.


about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, KB!


about 5 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations on a well deserved win!


about 5 years ago MFeats

I love that you make your own peanut butter! Yum!!


about 5 years ago J-Dizzle

Yummm, this recipe sounds wondeful Kitchen Butterfly! Thank you for sharing. I'm off to the local fish monger right after work to buy some swordfish steaks.....going to try it with fresh coconut milk. Congrats on being a finalist!!


about 5 years ago dymnyno

This recipe really gets it!! It is a recipe that incorporates all the ingredients with a technique that produces a swordfish recipe...not just a sauce recipe.


about 5 years ago shayma

fantastic! x