Something Special – Seafood Kebabs with Lime and Chilli Butter
Once, when I was on a tight budget but feeling resourceful, I made some seafood kebabs for some friends who were visiting from Britain. It was intended partly to impress them with our beautiful local product and partly to save money when I chopped up some bog-standard fish and threaded it onto skewers with some other bog-standard shellfish and then crowned the lot in a thai-inspired lime and chilli butter.
That was ten years ago and I haven’t made them since. I had forgotten I had ever made them until my friend recently reminded me of them. For her, it remained one of the great standout meals of her life. Such beautiful food, she said.
So, with that winning endorsement, it’s only fair I attempt to recreate them here, just in time for your seafood Christmas.
I know this is a website for budget food and many of you will not have seafood this year, but if you do consider it, this may be one way to get more value for your dollar. Because you are using a variety of seafood, you can afford to choose the most budget friendly fish and shellfish without skimping on flavour or impact.
Serve the kebabs straight off the barbecue with some steamed rice to sop up the juices. Or you can simply do as I did and present this another time when you want to celebrate. Why limit it to Christmas?
Makes 16 kebabs (enough for 8 people as part of a larger meal)
Bamboo skewers to serve: 16 green king prawns; 2 calamari tubes; 2 medium fish fillets such as whiting, cod or snapper, about 300g in total; 1 large salmon fillet about 300g;2 tbsp olive oil or rice bran oil; green salad to serve; 2 limes, extra, to serve
Lime butter: 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 2 birds-eye chillies, finely sliced; 100g butter; finely grated zest of 2 limes; juice of 2 limes; ½ bunch (about 20 small leaves) basil leaves (thai basil is ideal, but ordinary basil will work just as well);
Soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least one hour.
Remove the heads and shells of the prawns, leaving the tails on. De-vein them and set aside. Cut the calamari tubes in half, lengthways, then each half into 4cm wide strips and each strip into three or four pieces, depending on their length. Set aside.
Pin bone the fish fillets and the salmon, then gently remove the skin. Cut the flesh into 4cm strips across the fillet, then each strip into three pieces. Set aside.
Thread a prawn onto a skewer, followed by a piece of ling, a piece of calamari and a piece of salmon. Place the kebabs in a large flat glass or ceramic bowl. Finish the rest of the kebabs.
Heat up the barbecue to a medium high heat or heat a large griddle pan over a medium heat and grease it lightly with rice bran or olive oil.
Cook the kebabs for two to three minutes on both sides ONLY.
Lime Butter: In a saucepan or the griddle you have cooked the kebabs in, add a little butter and sauté the garlic, onion and chilli for two minutes. Add lime zest and remaining butter. Toss well until the butter has melted and is bubbling. Add the lime juice and half the basil leaves and sauté a further minute until well combined and fragrant. Remove from the heat.
Serve the kebabs on top of a platter of salad leaves with basil leaves and lime butter drizzled over the top over the top and wedges of lime on the side.
$32.45 for 16 kebabs