How to Pan-Fry Swordfish


Swordfish has a bolder, meatier flavor than white-fleshed fish. Bring out this rich flavor by cooking it like a beef steak. Pan-frying swordfish, especially with a grill pan, is the best indoor cooking method for this fish, according to "The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients." Properly prepared swordfish will entice the taste buds while contributing to a healthy diet. Adding swordfish to your diet contributes a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids from the fish, but pregnant women and children should avoid it because of the amounts of mercury in the fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet or grill pan
  • Olive oil
  • Spatula
  • Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the surface is hot.

  • Rub both sides of the swordfish steaks with a thin coating of olive oil. Place the oiled steaks in the pan.

  • Cook the steaks for three minutes per 1/2-inch thickness.

  • Turn the steak with a spatula and cook for two minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until the flesh is firm when pressed with a finger. Serve the fish with your choice of sauce or topping.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose accompaniments for swordfish with flavors that are complementary. Basil, coriander, citrus, sesame oil, cilantro and paprika are some complementary flavors, according to "The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients."
  • Pregnant women and young children should not eat swordfish because of the risk for mercury exposure in the fish.


  • "Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook"; Dean Fearing; 1987
  • "The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients"; DK Publishing; 2010
  • "Season to Taste"; Liam Tomlin, et al.; 2005
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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