How to Broil Swordfish

A broiled white fish fillet.
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Swordfish, a meaty, mild fish, is available fresh year-round fresh or frozen, usually as steaks. You can cook swordfish a variety of ways, with broiling being a quick and easy technique that typically takes about 10 minutes. Swordfish's mild flavor accepts marinades easily, and marinating the steaks before broiling will tenderize and infuse them with flavor.


Select Superior Swordfish

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Step 1

Buy American swordfish, because imported swordfish is largely unregulated and often fished using controversial methods.

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Step 2

Select swordfish steaks with smooth, silvery skin and red bloodlines running through firm flesh. The flesh can vary from white to orange; brown bloodlines mean the fish is older and less fresh.

Step 3

Choose fresh swordfish that is basically odorless with a fresh, clean smell.

Before You Broil

Step 1

Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl.

Step 2

Place fresh or thawed swordfish into the marinade, turning the steaks to thoroughly coat both sides.


Step 3

Marinate the swordfish at room temperature for 15 minutes to one hour, according to you recipe.

In the Oven

Step 1

Preheat the broiler on high for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Place the oven rack 4 to 5 inches below the heating element.


Step 3

Remove the swordfish steaks from the marinade with tongs and place them on a broiling pan. Place the pan in the broiler.

Step 4

Broil the swordfish on each side for approximately 4 to 6 minute per ½ inch of thickness. Insert a meat thermometer into swordfish; an internal temperature of 155 degrees F indicates that the swordfish is thoroughly cooked.

Step 5

Transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil it for one minute on the stovetop. Cool slightly and baste the swordfish with the marinade while broiling, if you like.

Step 6

Remove the swordfish steaks from the broiling pan with tongs and place them on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • American-caught swordfish steaks, fresh or frozen

  • Glass bowl

  • Whisk

  • Marinade ingredients, such as olive oil, citrus-fruit juice, honey, soy sauce, dried herbs and spices

  • Tongs

  • Broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet

  • Meat thermometer

  • Saucepan

  • Ladle or large spoon

  • Serving platter


Use your favorite bottled Italian dressing as a marinade for swordfish.

Store fresh swordfish at 32 degrees F to 38 degrees F for up to two days and frozen swordfish at 0 degrees F for up to three months. Thaw frozen swordfish under cold running water or in the refrigerator to avoid bacterial contamination.


The Environmental Defense Fund and the Monterey Bay Aquarium recommend avoiding imported swordfish and purchasing American-caught and –certified swordfish, which is fished using more sustainable techniques. Because swordfish is high in mercury, the FDA recommends that pregnant or nursing women avoiding consuming it. The Environmental Defense Fund recommends no more than one serving per month for adult men and women who are not of child-bearing age.




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