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How long to cook swordfish on stove : Tips for Perfectly Cooked

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Swordfish is a delicious and versatile seafood option that can be cooked in various ways, including on the stove. In this article, we will discuss how long to cook swordfish on the stove and provide two popular stovetop methods: pan-searing and poaching. We will also share tips for choosing and preparing swordfish steaks, as well as serving suggestions.

Choosing Swordfish Steaks

When selecting swordfish steaks, consider the following:

  • Steaks should be at least 1 inch thick to ensure even cooking.
  • Look for a vibrant, pinkish color and a slightly translucent appearance.
  • Steaks should be firm to the touch and have a fresh, mild scent.

Preparing Swordfish Steaks

Before cooking swordfish steaks, make sure to:

  • Rinse the steaks under cold water to remove any debris or scales.
  • Pat the steaks dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Trim any skin or dark red areas, as these can have a strong, fishy taste.

Cooking Swordfish Steaks on the Stove

There are multiple stovetop methods for cooking swordfish steaks, including pan-searing and poaching.

Stovetop Method 1: Pan-Searing

Pan-searing is a quick and easy way to cook swordfish steaks on the stove. Here’s how:

  1. Season the swordfish steaks with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of oil (olive oil or vegetable oil) in a non-stick or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot, place the swordfish steaks in the skillet, leaving ample space between them for even cooking.
  4. Cook the swordfish steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side or until they develop a golden-brown crust and reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Stovetop Method 2: Poaching

Poaching is another stovetop method that results in moist and tender swordfish steaks. Here’s how:

  1. In a large skillet, combine water, white wine, or fish stock with herbs, lemon slices, and spices of your choice to create a poaching liquid.
  2. Bring the poaching liquid to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  3. Place the seasoned swordfish steaks in the skillet, ensuring they are fully submerged in the liquid.
  4. Cook the swordfish steaks for about 10-12 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Be sure to maintain a gentle simmer and avoid boiling the poaching liquid.

Tips for Cooking Swordfish Steaks on the Stove

  • Use a properly heated skillet to ensure even cooking and a flavorful crust when pan-searing.
  • Avoid overcrowding the skillet, as this can cause uneven cooking and steaming.
  • When poaching, be sure to maintain a gentle simmer to avoid overcooking the swordfish steaks.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, aiming for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  • Allow the swordfish steaks to rest for a few minutes after cooking to help redistribute the juices and retain their moisture.

Serving Suggestions

Swordfish steaks can be served with a variety of accompaniments to create a well-rounded meal. Some ideas include:

  • Fresh, steamed, or roasted vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or zucchini.
  • Rice, quinoa, or couscous for a filling and healthy side dish.
  • A light salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette.
  • A flavorful sauce, such as lemon-herb butter, salsa verde, or a creamy dill sauce.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftover swordfish steaks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place the steaks on a baking sheet and warm them in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Be cautious not to overcook the swordfish during reheating, as this may result in a dry texture.


Cooking swordfish on the stove is a simple and delicious way to prepare this versatile seafood. Whether you choose to pan-sear or poach your swordfish steaks, following the guidelines and tips provided in this article will help you achieve perfectly cooked swordfish with a tender and moist texture. Don’t forget to experiment with various side dishes and sauces to make each meal unique and flavorful.


Can I cook swordfish steaks from frozen?

It is best to thaw frozen swordfish steaks in the refrigerator before cooking. Cooking from frozen can result in uneven cooking and a less desirable texture.

What is the ideal thickness for swordfish steaks?

A thickness of at least 1 inch is recommended for swordfish steaks to ensure even cooking.

How can I tell when swordfish steaks are done?

The steaks are done when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) and are opaque throughout. A meat thermometer can be used to check for doneness.

What other stovetop methods can be used to cook swordfish?

In addition to pan-searing and poaching, swordfish can also be cooked using methods such as grilling, broiling, or baking.

Can swordfish be marinated before cooking?

Yes, marinating swordfish steaks can help enhance their flavor. Just be sure not to marinate them for too long, as acidic ingredients can cause the fish to become mushy.

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