If you’re looking for a good swordfish recipe or just wondering how best to cook it, you’re in the right place.
If tuna is considered the steak of the sea, then think of swordfish like chicken.
It’s meaty, easy to cook, and relatively mild in flavor—all of which make it an ideal canvas for strong, bold ingredients. But like its land-faring equivalent, swordfish can easily go from done to overdone and just as nobody wants to struggle through a piece of dry chicken breast, an overcooked fillet spells dinner disaster.
Fresh Wild Swordfish (8 ounces), $17.50 from Fulton Fish Market
How to Cook Swordfish
To set yourself up for a success, follow these simple tips to cook swordfish, whether grilling or sauteing:
Buy sustainably. Be on the lookout for swordfish that is caught through hand lines or harpooned from the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans and avoid imported products. See the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch swordfish guidelines for more details, and then check out some of the best places to buy seafood online.
Consider the color. Swordfish is typically white-fleshed with hints of pink and orange. There are often dark red, black, or purple lines in a swordfish steak or fillet, which are normal, though they do have a stronger flavor than the rest of the flesh. If the fish looks gray, skip it.
Remove the skin after cooking. While it’s a good idea to grill swordfish skin-on—that helps keep the fish moist—it’s far too rubbery to actually eat, so trim off before serving.
Go thick. A heftier swordfish steak won’t overcook as quickly. To check on doneness, use a thermometer—swordfish is safe to consume once the internal temperature hits 145 degrees.
- Oil your grill grate. If you’re grilling swordfish, be sure to oil the grates well so the fish doesn’t stick. If you want extra insurance, you can put down a raft of lemon slices and rosemary sprigs (or thyme) to infuse the fish with flavor and make it easy to flip, but you’ll miss out on the grill marks.
Here are some specific recipes to get you started on your swordfish cooking journey:
Grilling swordfish is a great move; here, each swordfish fillet gets dressed up in a summery fruit salsa made from English cucumbers, cantaloupe, parsley, and lemon juice. Get our Grilled Swordfish with Cucumber-Melon Salsa recipe.
An easy way to cook this fish is to slip it in a baking dish with olive oil and whatever seasonings sound good (white wine, lemon, and garlic, say, or ginger and soy) and gently roast it until it’s done; make sure it fits snugly in the dish so it’s really soaking in the marinade and stays moist. Get the Easy Baked Swordfish recipe.
Simple pan roasted swordfish doesn’t need anything but a pat of compound butter melted over the top; this one is peppery, but you can use fresh herbs, citrus, or other spices too. The method is much the same as above, except you sear the fish on the stovetop before finishing it in the oven—so be sure to use an oven-safe pan like cast iron. Get the Pan Roasted Swordfish recipe.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Assist Handle, $14.88 from Amazon
Change up your #TacoTuesday routine with juicy spice-rubbed swordfish tucked into tortillas with a cabbage slaw, mango salsa, smoky tomato crema, and chunks of fresh avocado. Get the Swordfish Tacos with Mango Salsa & Smoky Tomato Crema recipe.
Transform the fish into easy-to-eat patties flavored with garlic, shallot, chives, and lemon zest. Serve between your favorite type of bun or, as a healthier alternative, simply with lettuce. Get the Swordfish Burger recipe.
Related Reading: How to Make Salmon Burgers & 5 Tasty Ways to Top Them
After a half-hour marinade in a concoction of lemon, fish sauce, and chile paste, chunks of swordfish are skewered with cherry tomatoes and snow peas, then charred to perfection on the grill. Get the Lemon-Glazed Swordfish Skewers Over Rice recipe.
Infused with fresh lime juice and basil, these “steaks” are finished on the grill with zucchini or your choice of vegetables. Get the Lime Basil Grilled Swordfish Steaks recipe.
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