Cooking with Sustainable Fish

During our Urban Ocean Cruise on Wednesday, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by Chef David Keller of Kavikas. The Luau Skewers were cooked with sustainable Thresher Shark. Once on the Seafood Watch, the shark has made a comeback thanks to conservation efforts.

This Thresher was caught off of the coast of California, probably near Santa Barbara. Note the bloodline, which would need to be removed before cooking.

According to Seafood Watch, “Nearly 75% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished. Our seafood choices have the power to make this situation worse, or improve it.”

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future¬†recommends purchasing Alaska halibut, Alaska pollock, Arctic char, Rainbow trout, Dungeness crabs, bivalves, Mahi Mahi, Salmon and American catfish (Yay catfish!). Here is the recipe we tried out.


1 pound thresher shark cut into 2-inch cubes

1 pound pineapple, cut into 2 inch cubes

2 red bell peppers, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Sake Ponzu marinade and sauce:

1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup sake, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, 1 1/4 Tbsp sambal crushed chili paste, 1 Tbsp canola oil, 1/2 Tbsp ginger, 1/2 Tbsp garlic, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp. cornstarch

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat with canola oil. Saute garlic and ginger until sweating. Deglaze the pan with sake; cook it until almost dry. Add the remainder of the Sake Ponzu Marinade and Sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch, and bring to a boil until reduced by 1/3. Allow to cool.

Alternate skewer ingredients starting with the shark until there are 2 inches remaining on the skewer. marinate skewers in 3/4 of the Sake Ponzu Marinade and Sauce for 15 minutes. (reserving 1/4 of the Marinade for serving).

Spray skewers with cooking spray and place them on an oiled grill over high heat. Only turn the skewers once to help keep the fish moist.

While the fish is grilling, add the cornstartch to 1 teaspoon and bring it to a boil. Add the remaining Marinade and Sauce to the skewers and cook it for 1 minute. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce until the desired consistency is reached.

To serve, remove the skewers from the grill. garnish with Sauce, additional green onions, and sesame seeds for added flair.

Yes, this recipe did say “for added flair.” It was delicious though, so we will let that one go. One tip: soak skewers in water for a half hour or so before using for grilling so they don’t catch on fire.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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