If you are in the mood for kabobs but you want to use fish not meat, consider the following recipe. You can use salmon or tuna, or even shrimp or scallops if you want. If you are using seafood ensure it is peeled and deveined (if necessary) before assembling the kabobs. The fish is marinated briefly and then paired with vegetables and barbequed until the fish is done and the vegetables are crisp-tender. The fish is marinated in a mixture of ranch dressing, chili powder and cayenne, so you will have creaminess combined with piquant spices. 15 minutes is long enough for this mixture to work and add the flavors to the fish.
Tips for Successful Kabobs
The first thing to do is mix the ingredients for the dressing, so decide whether to use regular or reduced-fat ranch dressing, and then add the cayenne and chili, either the amounts called for in the recipe, or you might like to use less or more, depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. If you are going to be using bamboo skewers, now is the time to start soaking them in cold water, so they do not ignite on the barbeque.
While the skewers are soaking and the fish is marinating, you can par-boil some small potatoes if you want to include those on the kabobs. Just cook them until they are nearly tender but not quite and then slice them thickly. Then you can alternate the fish and vegetables on the kabob skewers. Cook them until the fish is done, until it has turned opaque and looks flaky. The vegetable will be crisp-tender by this point, which is exactly how you want them to be. Serve them hot, still on the skewers for the nicest presentation, accompanied by your favorite condiments and side dishes.
Which Fish Should You Choose?
Salmon or tuna are the most obvious choices for this recipe. Both are quite solid fish and they will hold their shape even on the barbecue without falling apart, but those are not your only choices. Consider cod, halibut, monkfish or something quite meaty and sturdy. Forget sole or other flimsy fish – those are better for poaching and other more delicate cooking methods. Perhaps you are in the mood for shrimp, and those are also good here. Peel them and then remove the black veins. You can leave the tails on if you wish, or remove them if you prefer. Scallops are another good choice. If you are using frozen fish or seafood, make sure it is not only completely thawed but patted dry with paper towels.
These kabobs are fresh-tasting and colorful. Adding vegetables to kabobs is something a lot of home cooks enjoy doing because you get to add lovely colors as well as a nice crunch. Of course you also get the bonus of the nutrients in the vegetables. Onion, bell pepper and potatoes work well in this recipe. Feel free to use white or yellow onion if you prefer, or to swap the red bell pepper for half green bell pepper and half orange or yellow bell pepper. Green bell pepper is less sweet and orange or yellow is sweeter, so you will end up with a similar result if you combine green and orange or yellow.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless fish filets in 1 inch chunks
- ¼ cup ranch dressing
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into wedges
- 3 small potatoes, boiled for 5 minutes and sliced thickly (optional)
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix the ranch dressing with the chili and cayenne.
- Pour this over the fish in a glass dish and allow it to coat the salmon evenly.
- Marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Heat the barbeque to medium-high.
- Remove the fish from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Thread the fish, red onion, potatoes (if using) and bell pepper on to 4 kabob skewers.
- Cook for 8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until the fish is cooked through.
Fish and vegetables combine to make these lovely looking kabobs. Use bamboo skewers like in the picture or metal ones if you prefer, and prepare the charcoal grill to cook these perfectly. You can see in the photo how the red onion, red bell pepper and red-skinned potatoes look good with the pinkish fish pieces. The photo was taken before cooking though, so the fish might change color depending what kind you are using. Salmon works especially well, or you might like to try tuna, shrimp or scallops for a change of flavor. This is a nutritious dish as well as a tasty one.
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