How to Defrost Frozen Swordfish

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Swordfish steaks are especially tasty when marinated and grilled.
Swordfish steaks are especially tasty when marinated and grilled. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

It's helpful to keep swordfish steaks in the freezer so you can enjoy a healthful meal without making a trip to the grocery store. But to preserve quality and ensure safety, you must defrost the fish properly. Refrigerator thawing produces the best results, but requires a bit of preparation because it takes several hours. Microwave thawing takes only a few minutes, but you must cook the fish immediately after defrosting. Cold water thawing is relatively quick and won't affect the quality of the fish. Choose whichever method is right for you depending on your time constraints.

Refrigerator Method

Place the frozen swordfish, in its packaging, on a plate.

Transfer the plate to your refrigerator.

Store the swordfish in the refrigerator overnight or until it is completely thawed.

Cold Water Method

Place the swordfish in its packaging in a large bowl or baking dish. If the packaging isn't waterproof, place the swordfish in a zip-top plastic bag before placing it in the bowl.

Fill the bowl with cold water.

Let the swordfish sit in the cold water until it is thawed, about one to two hours. Change the water every so often to speed up the thawing process. Alternately, you can continuously run cold water into the bowl for an even quicker thaw.

Microwave Method

Remove the swordfish from its packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate.

Transfer the swordfish to the microwave and select the "defrost" setting.

Microwave the swordfish, checking the progress regularly, until it becomes pliable. Don't worry if the swordfish is still slightly icy in places, because fish can be safely cooked while it is still partially frozen.

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