Pan-Roasted Swordfish Steak was always a big hit in my restaurant days and I always found different ways to serve this delicious sportfish.
My ginger garlic topping is as flavorful as it is aromatic, and I could count on orders coming in when this dish was served to a nearby table.
One of my latest requests was what to do with swordfish? Swordfish can be a disaster if overcooked and is really a fairly bland fish (if it’s fresh), so you can have fun adding in very flavorful ingredients. Marinating is always an option, but it takes a little more thought and time.
I always have friends ask me, what’s the best way to cook fish? While my favorite way is the simplicity of Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, there are times that I add additional flavors to spice things up a bit! After all, Variety is the Spice of Life.
What Ingredients do I need to make Pan Roasted Swordfish?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Pan-Roasted Swordfish with Compound Butter. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious swordfish steak. Butter, fresh Italian parsley, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, red pepper flakes, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and of course swordfish steaks.
How do I make Compound Butter?
Before you start cooking the swordfish, prepare the compound butter you’ll be using at the end of the preparation.
Compound butter is made by mixing additional elements, such as herbs, spices or aromatic liquids, into softened butter. For my compound butter, I used minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, chopped Italian parsley, grated lemon peel, and freshly grated ginger.
You can easily swap out ingredients to change up the compound butter, make it your own and have fun experimenting with the flavors.
Can I save compound butter for later use?
Yes, you can. One of the ways to save compound butter to use in other recipes is by reforming the butter into logs using plastic wrap or parchment paper. That way you can store it until needed. You can also place it into serving crocks for table use.
Remember recipes are guidelines. Add your favorite flavors to make your signature compound butter. Have fun and experiment with the flavors.
**Compound butter can be kept in the refrigerator for up 5 days. Compound butter can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
What are Compound Butters good for?
Using compound butter is a great way to spice things up with your cooking. You can use compound butter on fish, chicken, pork, or beef, adding another layer of flavor to your dish.
Compound butter is also a wonderful addition to vegetables, rice, noodles and they taste great on bread.
How do I make Pan Roasted Swordfish Steak?
Now it’s time to get the Swordfish ready. Rinse and pat dry the swordfish with paper towels. Salt the swordfish generously using your favorite sea salt (kosher salt can also be used).
- Place an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and when hot add one tablespoon of olive oil and the swordfish, salted side down. Sear the swordfish for 1-2 minutes or until the seared swordfish has a nice color.
- Turn the swordfish over, and drain out any excess oil from the pan. Carefully add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and place the pan in a preheated 400-degree oven.
**Roast the swordfish until just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes or until desired doneness.
How do I know if the swordfish is thoroughly cooked?
The easiest way to tell if the swordfish is done is by using an instant-read thermometer. The temperature should read 130°F for medium, 135°F for medium-well or 140 to 145°F for well-done.
Another way to tell if your swordfish is thoroughly cooked is by inserting the tines of a fork into the thickest portion of the swordfish at a 45° angle. Gently twist the fork and pull up some of the fish. If it flakes easily, without resistance, the fish is done.
- Transfer the seared swordfish to a serving dish. I like serving my swordfish with wilted spinach, but feel free to use your vegetable or grain.
- Add seasoned butter mixture to the same skillet. Allow it to cook slightly over medium-high heat until melted and bubbling (1-2 minutes).
Spoon the seasoned butter over top of the cooked swordfish and serve with your favorite side dishes. My Pan-roasted swordfish is seared in a pan and finished in the oven just like we did in the restaurant!
*You can do this fish in the oven for the entire cooking process, but I do like to sear the swordfish before finishing in the oven. You can also add the butter directly to swordfish before it goes in the oven instead of cooking the compound butter in a pan.
**This swordfish can also be prepared on the gas grill. Use a saute pan on the grill to cook the topping and add the grilled swordfish to the pan to serve.
What other fish can I use instead of Swordfish?
Compound butter is a wonderful way to enhance any fish that may be on the drier side. Tuna, shark, mahi-mahi, and red snapper are also good choices. But truth be told compound butter is a delicious way to dress up your favorite fish. My wife loves it with flounder.
Who’s ready for dinner? My pan-roasted swordfish is perfect for date night or entertaining.
Overcooking any fish is an easy way to ruin it. Swordfish is not as forgiving as salmon, so it’s important to cook swordfish to medium well, cooked to the point where it is just cooked through but still remains juicy.
Swordfish is an excellent source of selenium, a micronutrient that offers cancer-fighting and heart health benefits. It’s protein-rich and loaded with niacin, vitamin B12, zinc and Omega-3. It’s also low in fat and calories which makes swordfish a guilt-free choice. when it comes to seafood.
My thoughts are a quick rinse for any fish under cold running water is always a good thing to do. Pat the rinse fillet dry with paper towels before seasoning and cooking.
Michele Ann Koehler
Fantastic recipe and very simple. The flavors were superb. Great complement to mild swordfish.
I made this with frozen fish and so I doubled the time it was in the oven. It was excellent.
Great recipe. I used cilantro and lime instead of parsley and lemon. It was delicious. Thank you for a great recipe.
This was incredible. We devoured it!
Made this tonight, it was INCREDIBLE. Thanks Chef Dennis. I didn’t have fresh parsley, so we used a little thyme and oregano from the garden with garlic, ginger, and a splash of lemon. came out amazing. Husband loved it too.
First time with swordfish. Was easy and fantastic. I used ginger paste and dried parsley.
Perfection! Moist, incredible flavor! I did add 1/2 tsp paprika to the butter mixture
I cheated and just melted the butter to make the sauce. Absolutely fantastic. I realized I’ve never eaten it cooked properly before this recipe! Tonight Im trying it with a dill, garlic lemon butter sauce over JApenese greens. For me, the perfect timing is 1 minute on one side at high heat (I have an electric range) and 6 minutes in the oven. The second time I cooked the fish 2 minutes on one side and it was 1 minute cooked too long. I didnt have a deep a color on the fish (probably because I have an electric oven and a less than ideal pan) at one minute but the interior was perfect this way. This recipe has changed the way I cook fish for the better!
Chef Dennis Littley
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe Ros, I hope you check some of my other seafood recipes, it will open up a whole new world of deliciousness!
Very delicious. Much better than any swordfish I have had served to me at a restaurant. I just wanted it to last, every bite was heavenly.
My husband said this is the best swordfish I’ve ever made & I’ve made a lot of swordfish! The sauce was so flavorful!
Thank you for sharing Chef Dennis!
Chef Dennis Littley
You made my day with that comment Liz! Thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Nancy Sakino Spears
Excellent swordfish recipe. The process of saute then oven with the buttered mixture melts in your mouth!!!
Thank you Chef Dennis!!
This was so easy to follow and make. I had extra butter so I ended up adding some cauliflower to the seasoned butter pan. This will definitely be rotated into my regular meals. Thank you 🌻
Yes sir recipes are guidelines. Doing this tonight with a little twist. Thsks bto
Excellent, quick preparation. I messed up a little though because the pan out of the 400 degree oven burned my garlic 🙁. You might add to let it cool off s tad first.
I had to change my husband’s diet. More fish. No Shell fish. I made your ginger garlic pan fried Swordfish. I had to exchange parsley for cilantro. (I was out) figured it would be okay since it has garlic n ginger. It was a huge hit with him.
It was delicious and full of flavor. I would absolutely remake this recipe.
PS sorry I did an exchange in your recipe.
Thank you for sharing.
Yours catherine Digilio
Chef Dennis Littley
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe and using the ingredients you have on hand is part of making a recipe fun!
Served this to people in my bubble that quote “don’t like swordfish “. Raved about it and took the recipe home. Excellent !
I made this swordfish and it was excellent. I added extra ginger and garlic and capers as I like how they add a bit of saltiness. In addition to the grated lemon I used lemon juice to finish the topping. It added a nice lemony finish. Thanks Chef!
Chef Dennis Littley
I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed the swordfish Ed. Thanks for the great review!
This is the best swordfish recipe I’ve come across! The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection. Thank you Chef Dennis!
Great, easy recipe! I didn’t have any parsley so I used what fresh herbs I had on hand, rosemary & basil, which worked out nicely. I also substituted Aleppo Peppers, which have a bit of a fruitier taste, for the red pepper flakes. The fish came out fantastic, the butter added to the richness of the fish and the herbs & spices added a really nice flavor without hiding the natural flavor of the fish.
I served it with a mix of sauteed Baby Bok Choy & Tatsoi sauteed with garlic in sesame oil and finished with some toasted sesame oil. Had some steamed broccoli crowns as well. A tasty and easy dinner.
This one is a keeper!
Dear Chef Dennis
Last night I made your recipe for pan seared Garlic/Ginger/Lemon Swordfish! I served it with sauté spinach & baked acorn squash! It was delicious so thanks to you I was able to create not only a delicious restaurant approved menu choice but it also encouraged me to continue my culinary search for other easy but satisfying meals!
I really love the sound and looks of this recipe. I normally avoid swordfish in restaurants for the reason you said. It can be a disaster if overcooked and truthfully I rarely happened to have a good dish. I only eat it at the one restaurant that does it very well.
I must try this recipe- it looks awesome!
This was delicious. I followed another reviewer’s suggestion and marinated in Almond milk for a couple hours. Because my filets weren’t too thick, I only cooked in the oven for 6 minutes. It wasn’t dry at all. My husband, who is less than enthusiastic with his compliments said, “that was pretty good” which is high praise for him.
This was so easy and so delicious. Will make again for sure. Served on a bed of sauteed spinach with lemon and olive oil. It was not only delicious but a beautiful presentation. Will make a great dinner when entertaining and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.