Swordfish – The Steak of the Sea


Swordfish is a delicacy of the deep that you’ve by no doubt heard of and have likely enjoyed several times. In our opinion, everything always tastes a little better when you really know all the ins and outs of it, and therefore we present to you this guide full of facts about swordfish and the best ways to cook swordfish.

The Swordfish is a very long and large predatory fish which possesses a long, flat bill that has the appearance similar to that of a sword. While swordfish don’t exactly stab or slice up their prey, they do use their sharp bills to injure and slow their prey, thus immobilizing it and making it much easier to capture and eat. Swordfish are quite unique among other fish, especially predatory species, in that as they reach maturity, they begin to shed their teeth. This continues until they are completely without teeth. While one would assume that this is a detriment, swordfish aren’t troubled; they just swallow their prey whole.

As stated before, swordfish are quite large and they’re also a popular target for sport fishermen. They usually measure between 10-15 feet in length and while most that are caught weigh around 200 lbs, many can reach weights of well over 1,000 lbs. Despite their great size and status as feared predators, swordfish aren’t a particularly long-lived species. Most of them have a lifespan of approximately nine years.

Swordfish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. While there is only one true breed of swordfish, they are sometimes broken down into categories based on where they live. These three categories are referred to as the Atlantic swordfish, Pacific swordfish, and Mediterranean swordfish. Of these, the Pacific swordfish tend to be the largest ones2.  Most swordfish prefer warm waters in tropical regions, generally favoring temperatures between the mid-60s to mid-70s. However, they are highly adaptable and can survive in temperatures ranging from the low-40s to the upper 80s1.

As one would assume based on their status as a popular target of deep sea anglers, swordfish usually tend to dwell in deeper waters, usually around 1,500-1,800 feet below the surface. However, they will often rise the surface at night to nab a late night snack if the eating down below hasn’t been particularly good on any given day. Their popularity among the deep sea crowd is enhanced by the fact that they are a very strong, powerful, and valuable fish. Reeling in a swordfish can really separate the men from the boys on a sailing vessel.

As we’ve just stated, swordfish will often rise to the surface of the water to dine at night on small fish. By day, they like to feast on hake, herring, mackerel, rockfish, lantern fish, and various crustaceans1. Even though they don’t have teeth as adults, they are still formidable hunters due to their truly impressive speed. A mature swordfish can blast through the waters at speeds of over 50 miles per hour. Their sharp bills enable them to break through water resistance2. They also are excellent hunters due to their superior eyesight. Their eyes are very large (about the size of a regulation softball) and are heated by internal organs within their heads which help them to see even better.

Swordfish are also very popular on the dinner table. They can be cooked in a myriad of ways, including grilling, frying, baking, broiling, smoking, and several others. Due to their dense and meaty flesh, they are especially popular on the grill. They have a strong and full flavor that can win just about anyone over, regardless of whether or not they’re a seafood lover. This is because while the flavor is powerful, it is not necessarily “fishy” in nature. Many have even compared if favorably to that of a lean beef steak. This is somewhat fitting, as they are much more often served in steak from than as fillets.

There are many nutritional benefits that come along with a tasty swordfish lunch or dinner. Swordfish are an excellent source of protein, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a food that’s extremely rich in Vitamin D, which helps to maintain strong and healthy bones. In fact, one 4 ounce serving of swordfish contains over 200% of your body’s needed Vitamin D intake for an entire day!

Has all of this talk about swordfish made you hungry for a nice big serving of it? We hope so, because we’re now ¬†about to share with you a recipe for Grilled Marinated Swordfish, courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

Grilled Marinated Swordfish

Here’s a delicious recipe from AllRecipes.com that’s easy to make and a joy to eat. Without further ado, here’s the recipe and step-by-step instructions for making Grilled Marinated Swordfish.

Ingredients: 4 swordfish steaks, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1/8 tsp of black pepper, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of poultry seasoning, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of white wine and 4 garlic cloves3


1. Obtain a glass baking pan and add into it the garlic, white wine, lemon juice, olive oil, poultry seasoning, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

2. Stir the mixture well, and then add in the swordfish steaks. Put the pan into the refrigerator for one hour, flipping the steaks once every 15 minutes.

3. Using an outside grill, lightly oil the grate and set to high heat. Place the swordfish steaks on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. If desired, you may garnish them with parsley and/or lemon wedges3.


Works Cited

Author Unavailable

Cheney, Robert
Swordfish Facts, Swordfish Information

3. T, Mike
Grilled Marinated Swordfish

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