This simple Grilled Shark Steak recipe is a fun way to try something new on the BBQ. With a few tips and tricks, you will have an amazing seafood dinner!
🍽️ Why This Works
Small Shark Steak | Baby shark! No, not the baby shark song! 😀 These are small shark steaks that are just the perfect size for grilling. They can be found at your local grocery store, fish markets, meat markets, international grocery stores and ordering online from places like Pikes Place Market and Gold Belly. We picked ours up at the international grocery store.
Fast | While it does take a little bit of planning to let the shark soak in milk, the actual grilling is done in just a few minutes.
Make Ahead Sauce | This sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few days. Use that to your advantage when planning your next meal.
Shark | I found this at my local Hispanic market. I don’t see it too often at the grocery shops we usually use, so I had to grab some. It is a cross-cut shark steak. There is no need to remove the skin as it will be very easy to remove when it is fully cooked.
Sweet and Sour Sauce | This simple marinade provides the tanginess from the apple cider vinegar and the Worcestershire. The sweet comes from the brown sugar and ketchup. Make a bit extra and use it on chicken or pork next time you grill.
Milk | This is the key to a delicious grilled fish. Soak the shark meat in milk for about 3-4 hours. It will eliminate a lot of the overly-gamey taste and virtually remove any ammonia overtones. Don’t skip this ingredient.
You are treating the fish like this because shark urine is absorbed through their flesh and releases through the skin which causes the ammonia smell. Do you still want to eat it?
Depending on where you buy it, it may have already been treated and you can skip this milk treatment step. You can tell as the ammonia smell that many fresh catches have. It is 100% safe to eat, you are just getting rid of that smell/flavor.
Step One: Rinse the shark steak off with fresh, cool water and place it in a large, glass bowl. Pour milk to cover and let it soak for about four hours in the refrigerator.
Tip: It doesn’t matter what kind of milk you use. This is a critical step to temper the flavor. Without it, I find the gamey flavor too much to handle.
Step Two: Prepare the Sweet and Sour Sauce by melting butter in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, sauté for 7-8 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Then add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Step Three: Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for ten minutes. It will start to thicken.
Step Four: Remove the shark from the milk and pat it dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on and place it on a well-oiled grill grate at 375 degrees.
Step Five: Grill the shark for 8-9 minutes on each side. Use a wireless meat thermometer to make sure the interior temperature reaches 145 degrees. Right before you are ready to remove it, brush it with your sweet and sour sauce.
Use a good quality refrigerator storage container.
These will stay good in the fridge for 2 – 3 days. They can be frozen, but I recommend freezing before adding the sweet and sour sauce. Wrap in Saran and then place it in a freezer safe Ziploc bag.
🧅 Meal Prep
Make the sweet and sour sauce a day or two ahead of time. This stores well in a glass jar in the refrigerator and definitely cuts down on your preparation time.
This fish is so flexible that you can make it a dozen different ways and never get bored. After you tried the sweet and sour version, start thinking out of the box for other ideas.
- Chipotle Lime
- Lemon Pepper
- Smoked Paprika
- Soy sauce, Dijon mustard and chili
- Breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese + add in herbs depending on taste.
🥕 Serving Suggestions
The sweet and sour sauce is very flavorful, so you’ll want to pair this with a starch or mild vegetable. Try some of the following:
❗ Expert Tips
Never skip soaking the shark in milk. Some high end butchers will do it for you, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
To those distinctive sear marks, use a GrillGrate. These are extruded aluminum and the fins heat up much hotter than the grill itself. That allows the meat to sear almost instantly.
Make the Sweet and Sour Sauce ahead of time. I like to have as much prepared as possible before my friends come over. That way, I can spend more time with them and less time in the kitchen.
On a 375 degree grill, it should only take about eight minutes per side. Check that it reaches 145 degrees with a thermometer, though. You always cook to temperature, not time for meat and fish.
Mako and Blacktip are the most common species of shark you will see at the butcher. This is highly dependent on your location and the availability of shark.
Shark meat will have an ammonia and extreme gamey smell. Most people find the flavor to be too powerful without soaking it in milk to neutralize the flavors. It should take about four hours of soaking to tame down the flavors.
Depending on certain markets, this step might already be done for you. If it smells of ammonia or game, soak it.
Similar to a mild chicken.
Grilled Shark Steaks with Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Bowl for soaking
- 4 cups Milk
- 1 lb Shark Steak
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 2 tbsp Butter
- ¼ cup Onion chopped
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Ginger
- ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ cup Ketchup
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Add butter to a small sauce pan over medium high heat.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 7-8 minutes until they start to turn brown. Add in garlic and cook for one additional minute.
- Stir in remaining ingredients and bring it to a boil. Reduce the temperature and let it simmer for ten minutes to thicken slightly.
- Rinse the shark steak and marinate in milk for about four hours to temper the gamey smell.
- Remove the shark from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook it over a medium high grill with well-oiled grates for 4-6 minutes on each side. It is done when it flakes easily and the temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Right before you remove the shark, brush it with the Sweet and Sour Sauce. Make sure to cover both sides.
- Serve it over a bed of rice.
If you need to soak that long in milk, you need a new fish monger. We get fresh mako here in NJ and never have I soaked it in anything. Right to the grill with s&p and evoo. More mild than swordfish! Are you eating the bloodline or something?
Jason C says
Thanks for the note! Mako and Blacktip shark are definitely on the more mild side. I may just need to go find another fish market! 🙂