In her book, My Greek Family Table, cook and Greek culinary expert, Maria Benardis cites ancient Greeks offering sacrificial animals to the gods by impaling the meat on a sword and cooking it for consumption. Souvla means both ‘skewer’ and ‘sword’, so when you eat souvlaki, you’re eating a little sword.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (14 votes)


  • 700 g swordfish fillets, pin-boned
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
  • 3 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into 16 pieces, 1 quartered, to serve
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tsp dried Greek oregano (see Note)
  • 16 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 x 20 cm wooden skewers (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 30 minutes

Cut fish into 24 pieces and combine with garlic, oil, lemon juice, herbs and ½ tsp black pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill to medium. Thread each skewer with 3 pieces of fish, 2 bay leaves and 2 pieces of lemon.

Cook for 8 minutes, turning halfway, or until fish is just cooked. Serve with lemon wedges.


• Sold on branches from selected delis and greengrocers. 
• Line the area of the barbecue under the ends of the skewers with foil to prevent metal ones getting too hot and wooden ones from burning. Use tongs to turn them.



Photography by John Laurie.



As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.