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What does swordfish taste like? Does swordfish taste good? Some say even those who don’t usually like fish will enjoy its taste and texture. Let’s find out!

Essential Guide To Swordfish

People who love seafood are used to seeing (and eating) unique-looking underwater creatures. And when it comes to fish, you will surely remember a swordfish when you see one.

We’ll answer everything you need to know about this fish, including how to cook it.

Those who haven’t eaten a swordfish will also discover its taste and texture.

Do not be intimidated by its combat-ready, distinctive long “sword” because swordfish is also ready to battle salmon and tuna as the best underwater “steak.”

What Is Swordfish?

You don’t need to be an expert fisherman to identify a swordfish because of its distinctive feature: a long, flat bill. This “sword” gave them their name, but for my action-loving readers, you’ll be disappointed that swordfish don’t use their swords to impale prey.

Swordfish are also known for their size, speed, and strength, which makes them a popular sport fish!

what is swordfish

And when it comes to the culinary world, swordfish is often enjoyed as steaks.

The dense and thick meat of swordfish can withstand roasting and grilling, making swordfish an appealing seafood to meat lovers and pescatarians.

What Does Swordfish Taste Like?

So what does swordfish taste like? Swordfish have no strong fishy flavor. Instead, they taste delicate and subtly sweet.

This is why swordfish is appealing, even to those who don’t usually like fish and seafood.

Swordfish are often sold as filets with a firm texture, almost similar to how dense a steak is. They’re not as flaky as other types of fishes, making them ideal for pan-searing or grilling. 🤤

The mildly sweet flavor of swordfish also makes them versatile for different marinades and sauces.

But more than the meaty characteristic and mouthfeel, I love how the flesh of the swordfish is not very delicate. It’s easy to prepare and handle because it won’t fall apart easily.

Does Swordfish Taste Good?

Swordfish taste good because of their delicate flavor and meaty texture. Swordfish steaks can withstand searing, roasting, grilling, or broiling, and the mild taste makes them the perfect blank canvas for any marinade, sauce, or side dish. 😋

Does Swordfish Taste Like Salmon?

Swordfish are often compared to salmon because they are both mild-tasting fish with some sweetness to them. However, it will be a matter of preference when choosing which tastes better because some prefer salmon’s buttery mouthfeel over swordfish’s meaty texture.

Does Swordfish Taste Like Tuna?

Both swordfish and tuna taste mild, making them the best protein for any sauce. However, if you compare this massive fish to, let’s say, bluefin tuna, you’ll notice that tuna is oilier and more umami.

Does Swordfish Have A Fishy Taste?

Swordfish is the ideal blind buy if you’re at the market and unsure if you’ll like fish steaks. It doesn’t have a noticeable fishy taste or odor.

The mildly sweet taste partnered with the meaty mouthfeel makes it satisfying even for people who usually prefer beef over fish.

Swordfish Products

Swordfish steak

Swordfish are often sold as steaks. And once you master the best way to cook them, you’ll be rewarded with the best-tasting, moist fish that can easily replace your favorite filet.

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Why You Should Try Swordfish

  • Versatile: The dense texture and subtle taste of swordfish offer an array of opportunities for different cooking methods and preparations. Enjoy it grilled, broiled, roasted, or simply pan-seared!
  • Delicious: Since swordfish has no strong fishy smell and taste, it’s the best introductory fish for picky eaters. The gentle sweetness of this delicious fish pairs perfectly with different sauces, marinades, and toppings.
  • Healthy: Swordfish is a low-calorie and low-fat alternative to beef steak and pork chops. It’s also rich in nutrients like selenium and niacin!

How Healthy Is Swordfish?

More than the meaty texture and mildly sweet taste, another reason to love swordfish is the health benefits.

In particular, swordfish is an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium, and niacin. However, it’s worth noting that young children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers should consider other seafood.

The amount of methylmercury in swordfish is above the recommended consumption for the people mentioned.

But before you get scared from seeing the word “mercury,” understand that all kinds of seafood have some amount of mercury. Unless you’re a child, pregnant, or breastfeeding, the risk of eating fish with mercury is not a health concern.

Where to Find Swordfish

  • Groceries and fish markets: Swordfish are sold as frozen steaks in most groceries and markets.
  • Online fish markets and seafood suppliers: If your local store doesn’t have swordfish, search for online seafood stores like Global Seafoods North America. They ship their products via UPS across the US.
  • Websites: Those with an Amazon account can also buy swordfish steaks on Amazon.
Where to Find Swordfish

5 Best Substitutes For Swordfish


When it comes to availability, tuna tops the list of the best substitutes for swordfish. You can also prepare a pan-seared tuna steak if you miss the meaty texture of swordfish.


If you’re worried about overcooking swordfish, you can try salmon first. Your salmon is perfectly cooked once the fish meat separates along the white lines when you press down on it gently.


Halibut is a tasty substitute for swordfish if you like your fish filet to be dense and firm. Halibut is my favorite fish filet, especially when fried in beer batter! 🤤

Sea bass

If you love swordfish’s delicate taste and sweetness, you will appreciate sea bass! Make grilled sea bass with roasted asparagus for an impressive dinner.


The resiliency of swordfish meat is what makes it versatile for different recipes. That being said, you can substitute it with cod because it can also withstand most cooking methods, from frying, baking, and grilling to pan searing!

Does Swordfish Go Bad?

Swordfish can go bad, but that’s expected with any seafood.

Swordfish are sold as steaks, either raw or frozen. Raw swordfish should feel firm but not hard, and always look for steaks with white to light pink flesh.

If you’re buying frozen swordfish, the color should be white to pink and never brown. Frozen swordfish steaks should also feel solid with no soft spots.

Additionally, I want to share a tip from my dad: always bring a cooler bag during grocery runs! It’s very helpful in protecting the fish from hot temperatures, which puts them at risk of bacterial growth.

How To Store Swordfish

I recommend only buying swordfish when you plan on cooking it immediately.

Swordfish in its original packaging will only stay fresh for 2 days in the fridge, so you can assume that leaving it at room temperature for longer than 2 hours is a bad idea. 🤢

And if frozen, swordfish should last between 2 to 3 months. Just wrap it tightly in freezer paper or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer bag to protect against freezer burn.

Recipes That Have Swordfish In It

The resiliency of swordfish steaks and their mild, sweet flavor without the fishy taste makes them very versatile for different recipes and preparations.

That being said, you can never go wrong with a simple pan-seared swordfish.

Alternatively, meat lovers who usually ignore fish filets can try juicy marinated swordfish steaks that will surely convert them into fans of seafood. 

What To Eat Swordfish With


Have a hearty and healthy meal with swordfish with a mustard greens salad! The meaty fish will also pair well with tomato and olive salad.

Roasted potatoes

Sometimes, I just want something heavier with my protein. And with grilled swordfish, garlic-roasted potatoes just hit the spot!

Creamy sauces

Thick, moist swordfish steaks will be magnificent with creamy sauces! Try the meaty seafood with a lemon caper or creamy tomato sauce made with heavy cream. 😍

How To Prepare Swordfish

Since swordfish are sold as steaks, they’re very easy to prepare. The meat itself is also not too delicate, so you can pan-sear, grill, or boil it without worrying that the flesh will fall apart.

But to give you the culinary horror stories, this “perfect fish for meat lovers” can turn rubbery when undercooked and pasty when overcooked.

You want it medium well for the perfect juicy swordfish steak, or it can dry out.

Can You Eat Swordfish Raw?

You can eat swordfish raw, but there’s a risk of parasites when eating fish raw. I prefer cooking swordfish for peace of mind, and grilled swordfish steaks are insanely good anyway, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on raw fish.

FAQ About Swordfish

How to choose swordfish?

Fresh swordfish should feel firm and frozen swordfish should not be full of ice crystals since this can mean the seafood was thawed and refrozen. You should also look for swordfish steaks that are at least an inch thick for easier handling (It would be frustrating if the fish filet breaks when you flip it. 😅)

Is swordfish safe to eat?

Swordfish are relatively safe, but like most big fish, they can have a high mercury content. Young children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers are advised to skip swordfish and other high-mercury fish like the southern bluefin tuna and king mackerel.


So what does swordfish taste like?

Swordfish, often sold as steaks, are meaty, mildly flavored, and slightly sweet.

The dense texture and lack of strong fishy flavor make swordfish one of the best fish filets to try, even if you usually prefer meats over seafood.

swordfish taste

Swordfish steaks are also not too delicate, so you can grill, broil, pan-sear, and do various recipes with them. 🤤

Your turn! Have you tried swordfish? What does swordfish taste like to you?

For more frequently asked questions, visit our index of food-related questions and answers. Here are a few suggestions for you:

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