Swordfish, immense deep-sea predator fish, have dense, meaty flesh. The pale-colored flesh is a bit deceptive: swordfish tastes more like brightly colored tuna than other white fish. The rich, full taste is an easy sell for children. Swordfish can be a bit dry, especially when overcooked, so keep this in mind in cooking and in choosing what to serve it with.
When purchasing your swordfish, look for American swordfish. The supply of American swordfish is managed to ensure the stability of the fish population, while in other parts of the world, overfishing has dangerously reduced the number of swordfish. Opt for thick steaks as these are best for grilling. When you touch the fish, the flesh should give a little before returning to its normal shape. If the flesh is soft or spongy, the fish is not fresh.
Always wash and pat the fish dry before preparing it. Add some flavor to your fish either with a marinade or a dry rub. Good marinade combinations include olive oil and either lime juice or rosemary. For the dry rub, use a packet of seasoning mix or dry dip mix, or a mixture of garlic, chili powder, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Swordfish is best when grilled, but you can also roast it in the oven.
Because swordfish can be quite dry, it benefits from a topping such as creamy dressing or flavored mayonnaise. A mix of mayonnaise with lemon and lime juice works well. Thick, rich swordfish steaks won't be overpowered by chunky salsas. Try either a mango, corn or pineapple salsa.
Sweet flavors works well with this hearty fish, especially if you marinate it in lime juice or use a spicy dry rub or seasoning mix. Accompany your swordfish with grilled pineapple and bell peppers. Serve on the side, or make kabobs with chunks of the swordfish steak. If you use the rosemary marinade, opt for more traditional vegetables such as asparagus or zucchini.
Although you can serve swordfish steaks with rice, pasta or baked potato, you will end up with a dinner that is very pale in color. To brighten up the plate, serve the swordfish with corn. Either grill it on the cob with the fish and vegetables, or boil it. A crispy green salad tossed with creamy dressing is a perfect complement to a meaty swordfish entree.
Swordfish tends to have high mercury concentrations. Because of concerns over mercury levels, the FDA suggests that pregnant women and young children should not eat swordfish. Eating swordfish occasionally does not pose a health risk for older children and adults who are not pregnant.
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- U.S. Food and Drug Administration; What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish; March 2004
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