Suya Swordfish

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Peanut Butter

  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, skinned
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
In This Recipe


Suya Swordfish

  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. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Coriander|Lime Juice|Paprika|Peanut Butter|Seafood|Swordfish|Grill/Barbecue|Gluten-Free|Entree

Reviews (61) Questions (1)

61 Reviews

Slimjim July 19, 2017
I bought swordfish and scoured the internet for the recipe and yours came up. I cooked it last night, it was very mouthwatery flavorful! Thank you for sharing.

I cooked it over the pan in high heat, and it peanut burned one side, but the burnt came right off. The taste was very good, but my execution needs some help.
kitten B. June 3, 2015
How dare you bastardize my cultures finest gourmet cuisine. I want reparations.
Author Comment
Kitchen B. May 7, 2017
Loool, that's a joke right?
Because this is my culture... but yes, speak away :)
JanetRoss November 6, 2014
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.
Author Comment
Kitchen B. May 7, 2017
Yay. I'm glad
Effie July 17, 2013
I so wanted to make this and didn't have swordfish, but I had shrimp.....Perfection.
Author Comment
Kitchen B. August 1, 2013
Yay. Glad it worked out!
Jennifer P. March 12, 2013
What sides would you suggest with this?
Author Comment
Kitchen B. August 1, 2013
Sorry Jennifer - this is great with steamed rice, and tomato salsa (with cilantro). 5 months apologies
G1G1626 May 21, 2011
Okay whoa! Fish + Peanut Butter - NO WAY!
Author Comment
Kitchen B. June 7, 2011
Strange but true Gigi1626....they work a treat.
Emi March 16, 2011
made this last night with boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooking them under the broiler
so complex and delicious, thank you!
Author Comment
Kitchen B. June 7, 2011
Thanks Em - glad you enjoyed it!
Skl February 14, 2013
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!
Skl February 14, 2013
Wait now I'm wondering if you meant chili POWDER?
Amaka September 18, 2010
Love this website

MyCommunalTable July 29, 2010
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.
Author Comment
Kitchen B. July 29, 2010
:-), 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!
EmilyNunn July 28, 2010
Way to go, KB! Looking forward to having this for dinner soon.
cucinettaNYC July 28, 2010
Congratulations Kitchen Butterfly!
Author Comment
Kitchen B. July 28, 2010
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
lapadia July 28, 2010
I love it!!! Congratulations!!!
dymnyno July 28, 2010
Congratulations!!! You really deserved this win...a great recipe.
Sagegreen July 28, 2010
Congrats! Wonderfully done.
drbabs July 28, 2010
Congratulations, KB!
nannydeb July 28, 2010
Congratulations on a well deserved win!
MFeats July 27, 2010
I love that you make your own peanut butter! Yum!!
J-Dizzle July 26, 2010
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!!
dymnyno July 26, 2010
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.