The best way to put shark on the grill is by catching it yourself, and in the Southeastern United States, one species of shark that is fun to catch, and even better to eat … Blackened Blacktip with Spicy Garlic Aioli.
Found in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, the blacktip is a hard-fighting fish. The blacktip shark is popular with recreational anglers in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Caribbean. It is listed as a game fish by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Once hooked, this species is a strong, steady fighter that sometimes jumps out of the water.
Since 1995, the number of blacktip sharks taken by recreational anglers in the U.S. has approached or surpassed the number taken by commercial fishing. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed the blacktip shark as ‘Near Threatened,’ as its low reproductive rate renders it vulnerable to overfishing. The U.S. and Australia are the only two countries that manage fisheries catching blacktip sharks.
If you come across a blacktip on your next trip to the blue water, give this recipe a try:
- 4 Blacktip shark steaks 1 inch thick 6 to 8 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried onion powder
- 2 tablespoons dried garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
- 8 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic minced fine
- 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, chopped
- 8 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons paprika
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the garlic aioli, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and set aside in the refrigerator. Next combine all the dry ingredients for your rub in a spice/coffee grinder and process until smooth; turn into a small bowl. Prepare your grill to high heat.
Place the shark steaks on a large tray and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks generously with your rub.
When the grill is hot, cook the steaks for 5-6 minutes per side. To serve, place a small handful of raw spinach on each plate and top with a steak. Drop a dollop of the aioli on each steak.