What Does Swordfish Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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If you are all about enjoying seafood, chances are you might have heard of people relishing swordfish. The name can put you off but what matters the most is ultimately the taste, right? Have you wondered what swordfish tastes like? In this article, I am going to talk all about that.


Swordfish is a predatory fish that is known for its unique sword-like bill. It has a mild, sweet taste and a meaty texture. It lacks the dominant fishy flavor usually found in other fish and hence is a versatile option to enjoy seafood without a seafood flavor.

Swordfish is an elongated fish devoid of scales. It is used as a game fish and is known as a mighty predator. It is a popular menu item which makes it clear that it has a delicious taste. Shall we look into more about swordfish so that you have a better idea about its taste?

What Is A Swordfish?

Time for some fishy knowledge! A swordfish is a migratory, predatory fish that is found in warm and temperate waters of oceans, mainly the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. It is known for its sword-like bill and has a rounded body and large eyes. They do not have scales and teeth. 

Swordfish is popularly used as a gamefish and is used in commercial and recreational activities. Do you know what makes it distinctive from other fish? Other fish are round and pointed, while swordfish are flat and blunt.

Larva of swordfish is indeed microscopic in nature, but yeah, we shouldn’t judge anything based on its size, right? It grows to become one of the largest and mightiest open ocean predators!

Explore The Taste Of Other Foods We’ve Covered

What Does Swordfish Taste Like?

Taste of Swordfish

Coming to the most important question of the day, what does swordfish taste like? Well, it is no secret that swordfish is incredibly expensive. Is it worth all your money? Let us see.

Swordfish is a mild-tasting sweet fish with a meaty texture. It has white flesh, which turns into a nice, beige color when cooked. The taste of swordfish can be compared to that of salmon and mako shark, although it is not as oily as bluefin tuna.

Fresh and tender swordfish is a delicious treat on its own, but when mixed with herbs such as thyme or basil, its flavor is intensified.

Is Swordfish Fishy In Taste?

No, swordfish doesn’t taste fishy. This is the reason that makes it a perfect option for people who loathe the taste of fish to enjoy seafood. Swordfish is devoid of a fishy flavor and tastes mildly sweet. This mild-sweet flavor contributes to its versatility and yumminess! 

Swordfish has a good percentage of fat, though. Some even compare the taste of swordfish with that of grouper. Even though it doesn’t have a strong fishy flavor, it has a unique flavor that can be intensified with the help of seasoning agents.

Does Swordfish Taste Better Than Salmon?

Swordfish and Salmon

By the way, you should know that swordfish is a close cousin of salmon, and we are going to take a dig at the familial bond now by asking, “What tastes better – is it going to be swordfish or salmon?”

Salmon and swordfish are both tasty fish that are enjoyed using many ways. Both salmon and swordfish have a sweet taste with a mild flavor profile. Swordfish has a meaty, dense texture, while salmon has a fatty, buttery flavor.

So, swordfish tastes better than salmon for people who enjoy mildly flavored sweet fish, while salmon tastes better than salmon for people who love a fatty flavor. 

Does Swordfish Taste Like Tuna?

Tuna, also known as a tunny, is a saltwater fish with a round body and a crescent-shaped tail. It is one of the most eaten fish in the world owing to its mild, meaty flavor.

Swordfish tastes similar to tuna due to its mild flavor profile. But tuna has a higher oil content than swordfish, which makes it moist and juicy in texture as well as flavor. Swordfish has a strong flavor when compared to tuna. 

Does Swordfish Taste Like Chicken?

Swordfish Slices

Chicken meat is one of the most-loved meats out there. It has a metallic, salty flavor when raw but has a mouth-watering flavor once cooked and mixed with other seasonings.

Swordfish has a mild flavor similar to chicken. That said, they both differ from each other with respect to their textures. Swordfish has a chewy texture, while chicken has a tender texture. Swordfish gives you an aftertaste that is sweet in taste which is absent in chicken.

Does Swordfish Taste Like Pork?

If you are a lover of pork and are wondering if swordfish is anything like pork, let me help you with that. Pork has a porky, meaty flavor with a subtle hint of saltiness. Swordfish doesn’t taste like pork since it has a sweet flavor. Pork, once cooked, has an intense gamey flavor.

It is easily adaptable to the seasonings that are mixed with it, which gives its true flavor. Pork has a rubbery texture, while swordfish has a meaty texture. Also, various cuts of pork meat have slight differences in flavor profiles.

What Does Grilled Swordfish Taste Like?

Grilled Swordfish

Did you know that swordfish is best enjoyed when grilled? You might be aware of that. That is why you are here to know about its taste, right. Well, let us look into that.

Grilled swordfish is the best-cooked swordfish simply because you get to enjoy swordfish in its fullest flavors. Grilled swordfish has a strong, meaty flavor with hints of sweetness. It is comparable in terms of taste and texture to beef steak. 

What Does Pumpkin Swordfish Taste Like?

Delicacies are my favorite thing! I love discussing them regardless of the time (and relishing them, too!) Have you heard of pumpkin swordfish? If you are a newbie, you might need help with that. 

Pumpkin swordfish is just the regular swordfish with orange-colored flesh. That’s it?! Well, no. The reason behind the change from white-colored flesh to orange-colored flesh is fascinating.

The diet of swordfish, if constituted by shrimps and krills, changes the otherwise whitish or grayish colored fish to orange color and thus the name, pumpkin. 

Pumpkin swordfish has a rich, buttery flavor and has nothing to do with the taste of pumpkin (thank goodness!). The strong buttery flavor is the result of the swordfish’ diet replete with crustaceans. It tastes so much better than the regular swordfish.

What Does Swordfish Sashimi Taste Like?

Swordfish Sashimi

Sashimi refers to the Japanese dish where you enjoy bite-sized pieces of raw, sliced fish along with soy sauce and wasabi paste. Sashimi basically has a mild, raw flavor since raw fish is the major ingredient. So, how can we rank swordfish sashimi? Let us see.

Swordfish sashimi has a sweet, savory flavor. But you may not see swordfish sashimi easily available due to its cost and mild flavor. That said, swordfish is one of the major fish that is relished as sushi. 

What Does Bad Swordfish Taste Like?

It is important to identify if your swordfish has gone bad since you don’t want to bet on your health. Bad or swordfish unfit for consumption can be identified through its smell and appearance. Bad swordfish has a sour smell and a slimy texture. It is often colorless in appearance. 

Swordfish And Other Fish | A Detailed Comparison

You now have a fair idea of swordfish and its taste, I believe. You will have a better idea if you look at the comparisons I have made for you with respect to other popular edible fish. I have taken into consideration these fish – tuna, salmon, and rockfish.

Point In ComparisonSwordfishTunaSalmonRockfish
FlavorSweet flavorRich, fishy flavorRich, oily flavorNutty, sweet flavor
TextureDense textureTender textureTender textureFlaky, light texture
TasteMild, fishy tasteIntense, fishy tasteMild, fishy tasteMild, fishy taste
OdorNo odorRich, fishy odorFresh, fishy odorNo fishy odor
FleshOily fleshLess oily fleshRich, oily fleshLess oily flesh

Methods Of Cooking Swordfish

Cooking Swordfish

Now you might be thinking of the ways to relish swordfish the best. If you are with me so far, you know grilling is the best way to enjoy swordfish. Other than grilling, frying, pan-roasting, pan-searing, and broiling are the methods to cook swordfish. 

  • Grilling: This is the most preferred way of getting the best out of swordfish. It is best because swordfish has a dense texture that is perfect for grilling. Put some seasonings before grilling to upgrade the taste of your swordfish. Grilled swordfish has a mild, sweet taste that you will surely love.
  • Frying: Swordfish can be deep-fried or shallow-fried based on your liking and preferences. Shallow-fish may require more oil but shallow-fried swordfish has a texture and flavor similar to grilled fish. But deep-frying swordfish makes the texture hard and dense and may not be extremely delicious.
  • Steaming: If you want to relish the fullest flavor of swordfish, steaming should be your way to do that. You can expect to enjoy the mildly sweet flavor of swordfish by steaming with no other ingredients overpowering the taste. 

Swordfish can also be sauteed. Before or after cooking, the thick, inedible skin has to be trimmed off. It can also be marinated before being used for cooking. But for a good flavor, ensure you don’t let the fish rest not for more than fifteen minutes lest the mixture turns mushy and becomes altogether despicable in taste! 

Best Seasonings For Swordfish

What’s a recipe without the right seasonings? Dull! To realize the full potential of what swordfish can offer you, you need the help of the right seasonings.

The best seasonings for swordfish are sumac, African grains of paradise, mesquite seasoning, southwest mix, blackened seasoning, blueberry balsamic reduction, Asian flavors mix, rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, garlic, soy sauce, and citrus flavors. 

How To Find The Best Swordfish At Stores?

Planning a seafood fiesta without a swordfish steak is tantamount to committing a sin. So, how to find the best swordfish at stores? Read the following points:

  • Swordfish is sold mostly as steaks. Look out for the color of the flesh – white, ivory, pink, and orange are acceptable colors of swordfish that can be bought. Brown-colored flesh should be strictly avoided. 
  • Another aspect to take into consideration is the thickness of the steak. Go for steaks that are 1 inch in thickness, minimum. This is essential if you plan to cook or grill swordfish – it wouldn’t fall apart easily. 
  • Although fresh swordfish is the best, its less availability can make you go for frozen swordfish. 

How To Tell If Swordfish Is Fresh?

Fresh Swordfish

Living close to the seashore might be favorable to you in identifying fresh seafood. What about the townies? How can you tell if the swordfish is fresh or not? Let us look at the ways by which you can identify if the swordfish is fresh.

  • Check the eyes of the swordfish. If the white eyeball falls deep inside the eye, it tells you that it is fresh. Frozen swordfish have the eyeball surfaced to the top. 
  • Fresh swordfish have light pink-colored gills. The difference in the color tells you that the fresh has been caught with severe struggle. 
  • The skin of the swordfish has a gray color, and if it changes when it comes in contact with the metal of the table, the swordfish is fresh.
  • Once the fresh swordfish is cut into pieces, you can notice blood dripping from them.
  • Fresh swordfish has a mild flavor that is devoid of a fishy odor. An intense fishy smell is a sign that it is not a fresh swordfish.

How To Preserve Swordfish?

You are all set with the identification of fresh swordfish. Now, how do you preserve it for an event after two days? Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Fresh swordfish can be refrigerated for one to two days and stored in the freezer at 40 ͦF for two to three months. 
  • Cooked swordfish can be refrigerated for three to four days and stored in the freezer at 140 ͦFfor up to three months.
  • Swordfish has to be stored after washing in cold water. They are put in paper towels and then wrapped in aluminum foils. 
  • Swordfish that has been cooked and thawed in the fridge can be kept in the refrigerator for an additional three to four days.

Health Benefits Of Swordfish

Benefits of Swordfish

Do you know why swordfish is worth the money and time? It is all about its health benefits. Read about them below:

  • Swordfish is an excellent source of protein. These proteins help in the production of enzymes, transportation of oxygen, and maintenance of healthy tissues. 
  • It is a good source of minerals such as potassium and selenium. Potassium helps in the functioning of nerves and muscles. Selenium protects the body from cancer-causing radicals.
  • It has a good concentration of healthy fats and helps in controlling blood pressure.

That said, swordfish is also rich in mercury which is an environmental contaminant. It can cause severe brain damage in fetuses and infants and should not be consumed by pregnant women. Lack of moderate consumption of swordfish can cause mercury poisoning.

Nutritional Content Of Swordfish

A 100gm of raw swordfish contain:

Calories144 kcal
Proteins19.7 g
Fat6.65 g
Sodium81 mg
Potassium418 mg
Calcium5 mg
Iron0.38 mg
Magnesium29 mg
Phosphorous255 mg
Zinc0.6 mg

Final Word

I hope the article serves your query of what swordfish tastes like. Swordfish has a mild, sweet flavor and a meaty texture. It is a prized fish used for recreational purposes. It is also a bright choice among people who don’t like the intense fishy flavor, which is characteristic of seafood.

It is best enjoyed when grilled, although there are other ways to enjoy its taste. When you try the taste of swordfish, make sure to let me know all about it. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does swordfish taste similar to?

Swordfish has a high-fat content. It tastes similar to salmon and mako shark.

Is swordfish a healthy fish to eat?

Swordfish is a healthy fish to eat since it is a good source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. These help in the proper maintenance of nerves and muscles and help in controlling blood pressure.

Why shouldn’t you eat swordfish?

Swordfish contains high levels of mercury, and excessive consumption of swordfish can cause mercury poisoning. 

Does swordfish smell fishy?

Swordfish doesn’t smell fishy. In fact, it is often enjoyed for the lack of fishy flavor. The intense fishy flavor means that swordfish has gone bad.

What is the taste and texture of swordfish?

Swordfish has a mild sweet taste and a meaty texture. The reddish portion of the fish is from where you can enjoy the rich flavor out of swordfish.

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