Delicious seared swordfish steaks on their outdoor grill. This easy seafood recipe is made with a simple lemon garlic marinade and is ready under an hour.
You may not often see grilled swordfish on a restaurant menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it at home! Swordfish is an amazing option for those who want to try seafood but are unsure about fish flavors. Read on to learn more about buying, preparing, and serving grilled swordfish.
Swordfish steak explained
Swordfish are found in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean Seas and are classified as an oily fish. Its meat is high in protein and a great source of B12, zinc and omega 3. You can find pre-sliced swordfish steaks at your local fishmonger or frozen steaks at your local supermarket to thaw at home. Swordfish steaks are made from the white flesh of the fish, and the flesh should be very little red or brown and the steak should be skinless.
A swordfish fillet has a mild flavor and a meaty texture. Reddish areas on a steak have a strong flavor and are usually trimmed away. This is an excellent option for reliability who are not sure if they like the taste of fish as it is not deliciously fishy. It is one of the meatiest fish around, making it attractive to non-fishermen as well.
Swordfish fillet is perfect for grilling due to its hearty texture and slightly sweet taste. It doesn’t fall apart on the grill like other tender fish and goes well with marinades and sauces. You can also easily stew swordfish as it does not dissolve in a broth. Frying is not recommended due to its rustic nature.
How to buy swordfish fillets
If you’re looking for swordfish fillets, it’s best to buy them fresh from a fish counter. If you buy frozen swordfish fillets, make sure the reddish spots aren’t brown. Gold indicates that the swordfish is old. Swordfish fillets should be firm and lean, and 1 inch thick.
Swordfish are in season from May to December and are usually caught off the California coast. Due to their placement on Greenpeace’s International Redfish List, they are often in limited supply .
Note that the FDA recommends that young children, pregnant women, and women of childbearing potential not eat swordfish because it contains high levels of methylmercury.
How to prepare swordfish steaks for grilling
If you purchased frozen swordfish fillets, you will need to thaw them before cooking. This works best if you put it in your fridge overnight. Once the steaks are thawed, trim off any excess fat or red spots.
As mentioned above, swordfish fillets go great with marinades. There are hundreds of marinade recipes YOU can use, but the procedure for grilling swordfish is across the board. After mixing the marinade, place the steaks in the marinade for at least 15-30 minutes.
Times and temperatures
When grilling swordfish, it is recommended to treat it like a raw steak. Use high heat to sear one side for about 5-6 minutes, then flip to sear the other side(considering this is a 1-inch steak) for about 3 minutes.
Unfortunately, feeling the outside of the steak doesn’t tell you if the steak is cooked through. A well-cooked swordfish steak will be brown on one side and very light pink on the inside. When the steak is served, it is fully cooked. The texture should come off easily when touched with a fork, but it should still retain its initial firmness. The internal temperature of a safe swordfish steak after standing is 130-135°F.
How to grill swordfish steaks
First, allow your grill to heat up for 5 to 10 minutes. Once it’s at a temperature where YOU can’t keep your hand on the coals for more than a second or two, YOU can grill. Place the steak on the grill over direct heat and grill for 5 to 6 minutes. Then turn the steak and grill for another 3 minutes.
If YOU check the internal temperature and it’s not high enough, YOU continue to cook on the newer side until the desired temperature is reached. To avoid overcooking, remember that the steak will continue to cook off the grill until it is fully rested.
How to reheat grilled swordfish
You can reheat seafood up to four days after cooking. If your marinade contains garlic or onion, the food might taste better the second time!
Avoid using a microwave when reheating shellfish. Microwaves often dry out leftover fish, making them tough or rubbery. If you must use a microwave, add a little water and leave the lid on. You should also expect an unpleasant fishy smell in your microwave for a while.
Using an oven is the best way to reheat seafood. You should use it on low heat to avoid breaking down the fatty oils that keep it moist. The recommended use temperature is 275°F for 10-15 minutes. Place remaining swordfish on a lightly greased baking sheet. As with the microwave, be sure to add squirts of water(or leftover marinade) and cover with foil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find two frequently asked questions about grilling swordfish.
Flip the grilled swordfish?
Yes, you will want to flip your swordfish steak while grilling. This will ensure the steak IS cooked through and has a crispy, flaky texture on both sides.
Why was my grilled swordfish soggy?
Unlike other fish dishes, swordfish doesn’t have to tiptoe during preparation. Swordfish is grilled quickly and over high heat. When cooked slowly, its cathepsins(enzymes) break down the proteins that hold muscle fibers together, leaving it soft and mushy.