Broiled Swordfish

Adapted from a recipe in Fish Without A Doubt, by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore.

Broiled Swordfish

Adapted from a recipe in Fish Without A Doubt, by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore.

I learned this cooking method from my favorite seafood cookbook, Fish Without A Doubt, by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore. And they, in turn, learned it from someone's mother. When I read that one of the authors' mothers was the source, it reminded me that the technique was similar to how my mother also used to cook swordfish.

For those of us with city kitchens and no outdoor space, our broilers can easily substitute for a grill. In the case of this recipe, I defy anyone to cook a swordfish on a grill that will be as flavorful and perfectly cooked as this simple method of using a cast iron grill pan and a city stove's broiler.  The fish will be perfectly cooked and completely juicy without that awful dry texture that can ruin a beautiful piece of swordfish.

You'll need a cast iron grill pan to use this cooking method.  By placing the pan in the oven and pre-heating it under the broiler until it's blazing hot (don't skimp on the time -- really -- let it preheat for 10 minutes), when you add the fish, the hot pan will cook the fish without needing to turn it over:  the pan will cook the under-side and the broiler will cook the upper-side.

If your swordfish steak is thicker than one-inch, you'll need to cook it a bit longer, but only about a minute.  In my experience you'll get a better result if you insist that your fishmonger give you steak that is no more than 1 1/4-inch thick.

While you can use either sweet or hot paprika, I've found that smoked paprika can be too strong a flavor for the delicate fish. 



  1. Place a cast iron grill pan under your broiler and pre-heat for about 10 minutes until the pan is blazing hot.
  2. Lightly salt the swordfish on both sides.
  3. On the upper side, lightly sprinkle the paprika. Then cut the cold butter into chips and scatter over the top of the fish.
  4. When the grill pan is very hot, place the swordfish into the pan.
  5. Cook for exactly 5 1/2 minutes without turning the fish. The pre-heated grill pan will cook the underside and the broiler will cook the top. The fish will be medium, slightly pink in the center but fully cooked and juicy.
  6. Remove from the oven and removed the fish from the pan, otherwise it will continue to cook.
  7. If you prefer your swordfish more well-done, or if the steak is thicker than 1 1/4 inch, cook for 6 or 6 1/2 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.



Fish & ShellfishSwordfish


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