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Spice-Crusted Swordfish with Capers

  • All White Fish
  • Pan-sear
  • 20-minute meal
  • Entertaining
  • Grace Parisi
  • Active Time:10 min
  • Total Time:20 min
  • Servings:3 - 4
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Grace Parisi

Rich and tender with delicately fat-marbled flesh, swordfish is perfect for pan-searing or grilling. A well-seasoned cast-iron or carbon steel pan is ideal for cooking this luscious, meaty fish.


  • 1 portion swordfish (about 1 lb)

  • Salt

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as avocado, safflower, or grapeseed

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

  • ½ lemon, cut into 4 wedges

  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling


Prep the fish

Depending on the thickness of the swordfish steak, cut the fish horizontally into two (1- to 1½-inch thick) steaks. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin. (This is most easily done by placing the fish skin side down and running the knife between the skin and the fish while holding a corner of the skin.) Alternatively, cook the swordfish with the skin and discard before eating.

Sprinkle the swordfish generously with salt and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Rinse the fish and pat very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the fish on both sides with the coriander seeds and cracked peppercorns, pressing gently to adhere.

Cook the Fish

In a medium cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the fish to the skillet and cook without disturbing until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until deeply golden and crusty, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Flip the fish and cook until lightly golden but not cooked through, about 2 minutes

Finish and Serve

Tilt the skillet and spoon off any fat. Add the butter, capers, and lemon wedges and cook, spooning the melted butter over the fish until the underside is golden and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F in the center, 2 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the steaks.

Transfer the swordfish to a small platter and spoon the pan sauce on top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve at once.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

Premium Seafood Subscription Box

$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

A full-bodied chardonnay will complement the richness of swordfish. For a red wine option, a light-bodied pinot noir or Beaujolais with a touch of acidity will balance the richness without overpowering the swordfish.

Make It A Meal

Serve lightly dressed, steamed green beans and crusty bread to soak up the buttery sauce.

Nutritional info

Swordfish is rich in essential nutrients including selenium, vitamin D, and more omega-3 fatty acids than albacore.


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