Swordfish, Mushrooms, Lemon & Capers
Swordfish - The Good, The Bad And The Delicious
I really enjoy a piece of swordfish now and then, but I worry about the sustainability of swordfish and the dangers of mercury. So I thought I'd do a little research to see what the latest word on this delicious fish is. This is what I discovered:
Swordfish is a meaty and satisfying fish, high in protein, Vitamins D & E, selenium and potassium. Swordfish is relatively low in calories, at 146 calories for a 3-ounce portion. Swordfish is an oily fish that provides omega-3 fats that are good for you.
Today, The Marine Stewardship Council and the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration consider North Atlantic swordfish to be one of the most sustainable seafood options. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Watch considers harpooned and hand-lined swordfish "best choice" seafood and long-lined swordfish a "good alternative."
Scientists, government and fishermen have worked to significantly reduce bycatch for longline fishing of swordfish. You can learn more about what the U.S. is doing to sustain fish populations and manage fisheries at FishWatch.
Swordfish are long-living fish at the top of the food chain. Swordfish get their nutrients from eating other fish. Consequently, swordfish collect mercury over their lifetime and mercury consumed in swordfish is not good for people. The FDA advises small children and pregnant and lactating mothers to avoid swordfish entirely. For the population in general, it is probably best to limit your intake of swordfish. There are varying opinions on how much swordfish is safe. Personally, I eat swordfish once or twice a year.
In the 1990's Atlantic swordfish was overfished and the population was at only 58% of its target level. But due to an international agreement by The International Commision for the Conservation for Atlantic Tunas, the US greatly reduced their swordfish catch and the Atlantic swordfish have rebounded, are actually over their target population and now considered to be highly sustainable. So, not all bad.
While Atlantic and Pacific swordfish populations are considered to be in good shape, not all swordfish populations are in the same position. Mediterranean swordfish, in particular, are greatly overfished.
Swordfish are caught primarily on longlines that historically have had high bycatch rates. Fish, sharks, birds and turtles get caught on these longlines, some of which are endangered. In the US, measures have been taken to reduce bycatch. Some say these efforts to reduce bycatch have been highly successful, while others disagree.
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Now that you know the good and the bad, we might as well get to the delicious, because that is why swordfish is so popular. Here is my recipe that is tasty enough for company and quick and easy enough for a special midweek meal.
This is my favorite pan for searing fish, chicken or steak on the stove and finishing in the oven. It works beautifully for this recipe and for making an array of quick meals.
Swordfish With Mushrooms, Lemon And Capers
Delicious, fast and easy, this easy swordfish recipe is suitable for company or a quick weeknight meal.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Cuisine: Traditional American
- 2 pounds swordfish steaks, about 1” thick cut into 4 portions
- 1 T olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 4 T unsalted butter (1 half stick)
- 3/4 pounds mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T juice)
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1 splash dry white wine
- 1 T capers
- 2 T chopped parsley
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Rub the swordfish with the olive oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan or cast iron pan on high. Sear the fish on both sides for a couple minutes on each side. Turn off the heat and put the skillet in the oven to finish, about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
- In a separate skillet melt butter on medium high. When the butter is hot add mushrooms, green onions, lemon juice and zest and splash of white wine. Saute for 5 – 6 minutes until mushrooms are tender and there is very little liquid left in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the swordfish on individual plates topped with mushrooms and garnish with capers and parsley.
I plan to make this over the weekend for sure. It looks delicious! My 18 year old likes fish and loves capers!
great easy recipe and so healthy ( i left out the butter). thanks for the tip about the grill pan. I ordered the cuisinart version and it came in one day and we had this delicious swordfish last night.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Lisa. You will love the grill pan, particularly for quick weeknight meals. Thank you for your comments.
Not understanding receive directions. Calls for capers but directions fail to say when you add them – to mushroom mixture. Also says turn off heat and put skillet in oven. Is oven on or off for 10 minutes fish is cooking in oven.
Hi Mary Ann, The method I use for this fish is to sear it on the oven and finish it in a hot 400 degree oven. You may want to read my post The Easiest, Most Reliable Way to cook Chicken, Steak, Rack of Lamb and Fish for more information on this foolproof technique. My bad on not being clear as to when to add the capers. Add them as garnish at the end. You can add them to the mushroom mixture at the very end, but I like them to stand out so I just add with the parsley to garnish. Your choice.
Without a doubt, this is the best swordfish recipe! I love the buttery lemon cooked mushrooms with finely chopped onions and topped off with capers…WOW! I have always been fearful of dried out swordfish, but your method kept it juicy and flavorful! Even my husband, who is not a fan of swordfish, loved it! Thank you for restoring my faith in this beautiful fish!!
This was delicious! I added about eight shrimp about three minutes before I took it out of the oven and before I covered it with the mushroom sauce — it was absolutely yummy! The capers added a little something special to an already flavorful dish! Thanks so much!.
Thank you for the great feedback Diane and Lulu. i’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Made this last night and will definitely make it again. Easy, quick, delicious, sophisticated.
Hi Michelle, so glad you liked my swordfish recipe. You might also enjoy my recipe for Chilean Sea Bass. It is one of my most popular recipes.
OH MY STARS. Hubby and I were looking for something different for a nice Saturday night meal. He said he had a taste for swordfish, so my search discovered this gem! It was super easy and he said it truly tasted like a restaurant meal. Adding the capers at the very end is absolutely the right thing to do, don’t be tempted to add them to the mushroom mixture!
Thank you Denise, I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. I think you would also like my Chilean Sea Bass recipe, which uses a very similar technique. Thank you for writing in!
This was phenomenal especially for such a quick dish! I made a pea purée to place the fish on and oh my word it was so good! I was hesitant of the mushrooms with the fish, but when the lemon juice and wine cooked down it was lovely! I was eating the shrooms’ out of the pan!
I love the pea puree Charles. Thank you for writing in. I f you liked this recipe I think you will also like my Chilean Sea Bass It is similar and prepped in a similar manner. I like to serve it on a bed of risotto.
This was the best swordfish I have ever had or cooked! I did add a bit of garlic to the mushroom mixture and omitted the white wine p, bc I am allergic. It was fabulous! I was lazy after a long day and served Seeds of Change as my starch. This is a serious Keeper! Thank you!