Who wants to enjoy a plate of juicy broiled swordfish steak? Count me in! As a huge seafood lover, when it comes to broiled seafood anything sounds good to me. So I’m here to talk about how to broil swordfish and a great many ways of preparing, seasoning and cooking it.
Unlike other meat fillets, fish steaks take minimum cooking time and less preparation. Even the simplest of seasonings can infuse much taste into fish meat. Among all the methods I have used to make swordfish, broiling is the healthiest next to steaming. It gives the fish that appropriate texture and color to lift your mood.
Around the age of 12, I started eating swordfish when my mother first introduced a juicy fillet with some sauteed vegetables. Fish has always found a special place in my menu routine. Ever since I started cooking, I challenged myself to try a new fish recipe every now and then. Broiled swordfish was among my early experiments with seafood cooking and the reason why I fell for seafood harder than ever.
Stuffing my freezer with frozen swordfish fillets and broiling them in different styles later became my habit. I tried broiled swordfish with lemon butter, garlic sauce, and simple butter. I even have tried a certain variety of mushroom sauce or balsamic sauce to glaze the broiled fish fillets. After such interesting experiences with the swordfish in my kitchen, I owe it to everyone to share at least a few of the ways of broiling this super delicious and super nourishing fish.
Swordfish Fact sheet!
Swordfish is fish meat with mild oceanic taste and aroma. So it can suit everyone’s preferences well. It is available all year round, which means it is an anywhere anytime kind of meal. The whole fish is easy to identify since has a distinctive sword like pointed head, but the fish is hardly ever sold in whole form unless you are directly buying from fisheries.
In stores, the fish is available sliced in fillets. These fillets are thick and triangular in shape, and so are to identify among the rest. The size of the steaks is neither too small nor too large. You can find swordfish both in frozen form or as fresh fillets. Frozen are best to buy when you are not planning to broil the fish in the near future, else go for the fresh ones.
The swordfish steaks have quite a quality of absorbing every flavor down to every single strand of meat. It hardly takes 10 minutes of marination to fully season the fish. Since the fish itself does not have a sharp fishy taste, it allows the spices do their magic.
Swordfish is therefore marinated just before cooking.
Since the meat is so delicate, it should never be overcooked. That is why broiling seems perfect for swordfish fillets. 4 to 5 minutes of broiling from both sides can give enough taste and the fine goldenish color we all love in the fish steaks.
Due to its seawater habitat, the swordfish is termed as oily fish. Given the levels of the pollutants in their natural ecosystem, the FDA suggests avoiding using fish as food for pregnant women and young children. The US Food and Drug Administration warns people about some levels of mercury in the swordfish, so you need to be extra careful while selecting raw fish from the market.
A little tidbit! There are some swordfish whose flesh looks more orangish in color, and they are known as pumpkin swordfish. There is nothing wrong with this variety of the swordfish, in fact it is considered supreme quality swordfish over the white varieties. The orangish pumpkin color is due to the diet of this particular species—such fish live on shrimp which appears in their flesh later on.
Cooking with Swordfish
There are reasons that swordfish is popular around the world for cooking. It is served in all different cuisines, from Japan to America, Mediterranean, and Asia.
The fish is loved for its firm texture. Every time it is broiled it gives an evenly cooked fillet steak which doesn’t fall apart while serving. However, with the changing of cooking styles, you can turn it softer and flakier, like grilling the fillets or making skewers.
In different parts of America, the color of the swordfish’s flesh varies. For example, the flesh appears more pinkish and rosy in fish from the East coast than those from North America.
Swordfish is also known as the broadbill or the billfish in some places. Besides the prominent pointy head, the fish has a rounded body which usually weighs hundreds of pounds. It can grow to several feet in body length. Because of its natural oil content, it is not advised to sear or fry the fish fillets as that may add more oil and fat to the fish.
The Super Proteinous food!
Trust me! You will be fascinated after knowing the potential health benefits of the swordfish. It is a fish full of surprises.
Firstly it has such a rich protein content that every steak of the fish at least one hundred and six grams in weight can provide you 27 grams of proteins. That is a huge chunk of the total macronutrients you need when you compare it with other sea fish. These proteins actively contribute to the natural growth of hair, repair of skin and strengthening of the muscles. It is also great for enhancing the enzymic activities in the body.
Have you heard of selenium in your diet?
Well, this important mineral is also largely found in the swords fish. Selenium is known for improving bone health and gives them more strength and longevity. It is known to strengthen hair, nails, and teeth. Besides selenium, swordfish is also full of antioxidants that kill all free radicals after entering into your body.
Zine and phosphorous also make up a part of the swordfish nutrients list. Due to these and other minerals and nutrients, the swordfish can manage to regulate the sleep cycle of a person by inducing calmer sleep and reducing the risk of insomnia. Because of magnesium in particular, swordfish can ensure good quality sleep with more peace and calmness.
Swordfish is also a rich source of vitamins, especially vitamin B3 and B12. The latter helps in DNA synthesis, the formation of the myelin— a fatty substance in our brain—and blood cell production. The former of these vitamins can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and increase the levels of good cholesterol in the body.
Besides vitamins, swordfish is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acid. This content is found in most fish, and that makes seafood healthier than the rest. These fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory and help in blood pressure reduction. Stable blood pressure means a healthy heart.
How to Broil Swordfish Perfectly
You will need to follow some basic steps to broil the swordfish. First, start by preparing the fish for cooking. This may include cleaning of the fillets or slicing them into ½ inch thickness. In case you broil frozen swordfish fillet, there is no need for cleaning. But keep the fish at room temperature long enough to completely defrost it.
Once the fillets are ready, they have to be pat dry before anything is rubbed or applied to them. After drying them, use any combination of seasoning for broiled swordfish and rub them gently on both sides of the fillets.
After few minutes of marination, the fillets are ready to broil. Either place them on a greased broiling rack or brush them with cooking oil or melted butter. Then place them in a preheated broiler. You can also broil swordfish in the oven by setting it on the broiler function.
How Long do you need to Broil ?
That depends on the size and the thickness of the fish fillets. It does not take much time to cook the swordfish fillets, but timing is important when you can’t take the risk of overcooking the juicy seafood.
For a fillet ½ inch in thickness, the total time for broiling is 8 to 9 minutes. But it has to be ensured that the fish is broiled from both sides equally.
Four minutes of broiling per side is suitable for such thickness. This is the ideal thickness for the fillets but in case of variations either increase or decrease the time of cooking. Constantly keep a close eye on the fish to avoid the over-softening of your favorite fish.
Buttery Broiled Swordfish Recipe
There are hundreds of ways to season a fish fillet. I personally have paired mine with a number of spice blends, from basic salt and pepper ones to rich and tangy ones. Whether it is butter sauce or wine glazes, practically anything nicely cooked can go with broiled swordfish. I usually use a dry rub for the marination of the fish before broiling. However, you can make it differently by adding some lemon juice or honey for a sweeter twist.
The recipe I am sharing here can give you a better idea of the timing for broiling and the proportion of the spices optimally used against a certain amount of the swordfish. 2 pounds of fish can serve 4 to 5 people at most. To serve a large family consider doubling all the given proportions here.
Make sure to serve the fish immediately after broiling, or cover it with aluminum foil till the time of serving. Fresh vegetable salads are great to serve with these lemony fish steaks.
- 2 pounds swordfish steaks (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika (sweet Hungarian)
- 5 tablespoons butter (melted)
- Optional: chopped fresh parsley
- Garnish: lemon wedges
For the Garlic Parsley Sauce:
- 1/2 cup parsley (fresh minced)
- 1 tablespoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
- Salt to taste (kosher)
- Black pepper to taste
Take the swordfish steaks and clean them thoroughly. Pat them dry with a paper towel. These fillets are ready to season. Drizzle salt, paprika, and pepper over the fish and rub the spices gently on both sides of the fish. Set the seasoned fish aside.
Meanwhile, grease the broiler rack with cooking spray and preheat the broiler.
Place the seasoned steaks on the broiler rack and top them with melted butter. Brush the butter smoothly over the fish. Place the broiler rack about 2-3 inches above the heat source. Let the steaks broil for 4 minutes.
Now gently flip each steak and brush some more melted butter on the other side. Allow it to broil for another 4 minutes. At this moment, the fish steaks should appear light brown in color from both sides. Check the flakiness of the dish to check the doneness.
Use a spatula to gently transfer the swordfish to the serving plates and then garnish them with chopped parsley. Use lemon wedges to add more garnishing. Pour a tablespoon of garlic parsley sauce over the steaks for best taste.
Enjoy this broiled swordfish steak either with rice or potatoes.
Garlic Parsley Sauce
This recipe for garlic sauce used for the serving is pretty easy. First, take a bowl and start mixing ½ cup chopped parsley with olive oil, finely chopped garlic, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning with pepper and salt, as per your desired taste. The sauce is now ready for pouring.
A nice, meaty fish can give you all the nutrients in a single plate. Swordfish is such an option. Because of its natural habitat, the fish becomes packed with all the necessary nutrients. By broiling, the texture of its fillets turns out more delicious and healthier too. Try the broiling techniques I have shared in the article and let us know how your broiled swordfish turns out.