Grilled thresher shark

We saw thresher shark on special at the store the other day, and as an amateur shark diver who would very much enjoy seeing one of these beauties in the wild I thought... is it okay to eat thresher shark?  And if so, how would it taste?

As with my foray into hunting - which saw me stalk, shoot and kill, clean, and finally cook a bird which I otherwise would have enjoyed merely photographing - I've gained a lot of perspective from Tovar Cerulli's website which chronicles his transformation from vegan to hunter and yes, conservationist.

As for particular fish inquiries, especially on the West Coast, I've really enjoyed the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website which lists issues associated with particular kinds of fish (including safety of the fish itself as a food source, issues surrounding catch methods, and food source sustainability).  After confirming the "Good Alternative" rating of local thresher shark when wild caught, I set out to cook up something wonderful.

Here are the gorgeous shark steaks.  I first soaked them in milk in the fridge all day because I read that sometimes shark can have a stronger flavor, though in retrospect it smelled so fresh that I think I could have omitted that step.  Then I rubbed them with olive oil and salt and pepper and grilled them stovetop.

I also sauteed some shallot in unsalted butter and added a healthy portion of capers for the final minute, drizzling the mixture over the steaks when they were done.  Here I served them with broccoli rabe and roasted potatoes.  I would liken the flavor to one of my other favorites, swordfish.  It was amazing!  Everyone ate the dish up happily and my eldest daughter proclaimed it "one of the best dishes I've ever had."  Success!

If you find it at your fish market I highly recommend - cook it like swordfish - you won't be disappointed!

Here's a similar method if you need it:
Food and Wine's Grilled Swordfish in Basil Caper Butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons chopped basil 2 teaspoons drained capers, chopped 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Four 8-ounce swordfish steaks, cut 1 inch thick Arugula and Endive Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan, for serving

Step 1    
Light a grill. In a small bowl, blend the butter with the basil, capers and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate.
Step 2    
In a large, shallow dish, mix the olive oil with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season the swordfish with salt and pepper and turn the fish in the olive oil mixture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Step 3    
Grill the swordfish steaks over a hot fire until nicely charred on the outside and just cooked within, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to plates, top each with a dollop of basil-caper butter and serve right away, with the Arugula and Endive Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan.
Make Ahead
The basil-caper butter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Suggested Pairing
Flavored butter gives these meaty swordfish steaks a piquant, herbal taste that's echoed in Sauvignon Blanc, particularly ones from the Collio region of Italy.


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