Also known as:
Broadbill, broadbill swordfish
, espada, emperado. (Mekajiki, shutome or A`u in Hawaii.)
Waters: Found widely in tropical and temperate parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The Swordfish
lives 650-1970 feet down in the ocean.
This fast-swimming and largest predator gets its name from its extremely long, flat, sword-like bill, which is used to impale or slash its prey. The swordfish, the only living member of the family Xiphiidae, has a long, cylindrical blackish-brown body that gradually fades to light-brown on the underside. The body tapers to large anal fins, which along with the high dorsal fin enable efficient cruising. Adult swordfish are scale less and possess no teeth; swordfish less than one meter in length have small spines on the body and fine, file-like teeth. Usually, female swordfish grow larger and live longer than males. This animal is very powerful. Swordfish grow to be 90 pounds. The Swordfish hunt at night.
is made for the grill. This texture also helps prevent the steaks from falling apart on the grill, a huge plus.
A typical swordfish
meal would be a simple olive oil-based marinade, then a time on the grill, and then served simply with lemon, salt and herbs. Good sword needs nothing more than this.
Don’t overcook the swordfish
. Make sure to leave the skin on when you grill, but take it off to serve: The skin is rubbery, but helps keep the meat moist.
is also a fantastic stewing fish because it won't dissolve. Use it for fish chowder, or as a component in something like Cioppino or another fish stew, or slowly simmer it in tomato sauce. Sword is generally not a great candidate for poaching or deep frying, although a quick saute or sear in a hot pan works well.
It is always sold as steaks, and the meat is so firm and, well, meaty, that many non-fish eaters will gladly eat sword.
When choosing swordfish
, look for the little strip of dark meat to be red, not brown. If it's brown, the meat is old. Know that East Coast swordfish
tends to be a little rosier than Pacific sword; it's their diet, which is mainly other fish plus a little squid.
is an excellent source of lean protein. It is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium and it is also low in sodium. Swordfish
is a good source of vitamin B6 and iodine. Swordfish
also provides about 1200 mg of omega-3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounce serving of fresh fish.
Substitutes for Swordfish:
Marlin, shark, tuna, sturgeon, halibut, mahi-mahi, monkfish.