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Pan-Seared Swordfish


  • 2 (8-ounce) swordfish steaks, 3/4 to 1 inch thick

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Optional Topping Ideas:

  • freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

  • salsa verde

  • pico de gallo or salsa


  • Prep Swordfish: Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard any skin. Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt.

  • Sear Swordfish: Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat until very hot, a few minutes. Add swordfish steaks to pan. Flipping every 2 minutes, cook until center registers 130 F, 5 to 7 minutes depending on size of your steaks.

  • Rest & Serve: Immediately transfer steaks to serving plates, letting them rest for a few minutes. Add optional toppings over steaks, and serve


  1. Selecting Swordfish. I use fresh swordfish steaks, about 8 ounces each with a thickness between 3/4 and 1 inch. Try to select two steaks that are similarly sized so they cook at the same rate. If your steak has the right thickness but is too large (about a pound), you can cut it in half to get two 8-ounce steaks. Or if your steak is more than 1.5 inches thick, you can slice it horizontally and end up with two 3/4-inch thick steaks.

  2. Pan. I use a nonstick pan that is 10 inches in diameter, wide enough to hold both steaks in a single layer.

  3. Cooking Swordfish. You should treat swordfish like a fine steak; it should be cooked on the rarer side. Overcooking will turn it dry and flavorless. During cooking, they're flipped every 2 minutes; I use a stopwatch and flip on even-numbered minutes, and start monitoring the temperature after 4 minutes with a probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer. Using a thermometer is best since the cooking time will vary for differently sized steaks. The swordfish should be pan-seared until it reaches 130 F in the center. Off the heat, the swordfish’s internal temperature quickly rises to 140 F within a few minutes, due to carryover cooking.

  4. Resting Swordfish. While the swordfish steaks are resting, they will finish cooking and some juices may pool around them. If you don't want the juices pooling on serving plates, rest the steaks on a separate dish before moving them to serving plates.

  5. Serving. The swordfish tastes fantastic by itself; simply lightly salted and cooked in olive oil, with no toppings. The meat is meltingly tender and juicy, no knife needed. This is especially true if it’s fresh, high quality swordfish. Optionally, you can brighten it up by pairing it with lemon wedges, fresh salsa, salsa verde, or pico de gallo — homemade or store-bought. Whatever topping you choose, keep it simple so it doesn’t detract from the delicious swordfish flavor. Low carb sides that pair well with swordfish include a chopped Mediterranean salad, colorful roasted vegetables, or coleslaw.

NUTRITION Makes 2 Servings Amount Per Serving (1 steak, no toppings): Calories 390

Total Fat 22g 34%

Saturated Fat 5g 24%

Cholesterol 150mg50%

Sodium 760mg 32%

Net Carb 0g

Total Carb 0g 0%

Dietary Fiber 0g 0%

Sugars 0g

Protein 45g Vitamin A 5%

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 0%

Iron 5%

Updated Jun 5, 2020 Published Jun 10, 2019 By Julia

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