Swordfish Flavor Profile
Swordfish has a mildly sweet flavor and a moist, meaty texture with moderately high fat content. The flesh can range from white or ivory to pink or orange. The color variations do not reflect quality. All Swordfish turn beige in color after cooking.
FDA Note: Swordfish have high levelsof methyl-mercury so the FDA advises that pregnant women, nursing women, women of childbearing age and young children avoid eating swordfish.
Typical Cooking Methods
Broadbill, Espada, Emperado
Swordfish Description (Xiphias gladius)
Swordfish have a long beak resembling a sword. They can grow to almost 15 feet long and weigh as much as 1400 lb, but average size is 50 - 200 lbs. Swordfish eat small tuna, barracuda, dorado, squid, mackerel, flying fish, rockfish, hake, and other fish.
Knowing how to purchase quality seafood is one of the things which makes a chef successful. Fresh Swordfish loins should be ivory in color and have a translucent quality. Previously frozen loins will be whiter and have an opaque rather than translucent quality about the flesh. The bloodline should be red, not brown or black. If there are red spots in the flesh it indicates that there are broken blood vessels and the fish was over-stressed at capture--return it for another piece.
Range & Habitat
Swordfish is available in oceans worldwide.
Fresh Swordfish Availability
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak Swordfish availability, light green show limited availability. Frozen available all year long.
Swordfish Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/Off gutted||78%||64%|
|Skin/On Loins||--||85%||If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Typical Swordfish Wholesale Products
H&G, Sides (Halves), Loins (quarters), Steaks
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving
Swordfish Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch|
|Swordfish, Xiophias gladius||Broadbill, Espada, Emperado, Shutome
||Wild - Harpoon, Handline||Hawaii||Elevated|
|US - Canada, East Pacific, North Atlantic|
|Wild - Drift Gillnet||California|
|Wild - Longline||US|
|Wild - Longline, Harpoon, Handline||Indian Ocean|
|Wild - Longline, Harpoon, Handline, Drift Gillnet||Mediterranean Sea|
|Wild - Longline||Imported||n/a|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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