Deeply versatile and ever the crowd pleaser, swordfish can convert even the most fish-averse individuals. With its mild, sweet flavor and meaty texture, this impressive fish makes an excellent canvas for any cuisine or flavor combination.
Flavor and Texture of Swordfish
Swordfish meat is dense and moist with a delicate fishy flavor and a hint of sweetness. As the fish primarily feeds on crustaceans and small marine animals, you may also notice a slight shellfish-like undertone, particularly in wild-caught swordfish. Its mild taste is reminiscent of tuna while its meaty texture is similar to saltwater pompano.
Although swordfish skin is generally safe to eat, it’s not often consumed as it has a tough and leathery texture that’s difficult to chew.
As swordfish can grow as large as 4.5 meters long and weigh well over 300 pounds, they are typically sold pre-sliced into steaks.
Swordfish steaks have a defined whorl pattern and silvery black outer skin. The meat ranges in color from whitish to reddish pink, sometimes with an orange tinge, and turns into a creamy white when cooked.
Uses for Swordfish
Those who are new to seafood or aren’t a fan of deeply fishy-tasting fish will likely enjoy swordfish. Its mild and sweet taste makes a wonderful canvas for almost any savory flavor combination in any cuisine, and rarely overpowers the dish. Additionally, swordfish is fairly easy to debone so can be prepared swiftly and cleanly.
Swordfish’s firm flesh holds up to tougher cooking methods where more delicate fish could easily fall apart, such as grilling or pan-frying; seared swordfish steak is a popular fine dining option. It’s also one of the few varieties of fish that can be cubed and arranged on skewers, so look to swordfish the next time you prepare fish kebabs.
Of course, swordfish lends itself well to gentler cooking methods too. Roasting, steaming, and poaching are all great ways to prepare this meaty fish. Sushi-grade swordfish can be made into mouthwatering sashimi, sushi, or ceviche.
Whether seasoned simply with salt and pepper or dressed up with a variety of herbs and spices, this versatile and delicious fish is sure to please.