Grilled Swordfish with Coriander and Lime

Grilled Swordfish with coriander and lime Recipe

About a week ago, we were wandering through our local Whole Foods and noticed a huge sign over the fish counter that reads “Sustainable Swordfish.”  Really?? Between reading numerous reports and sustainable seafood lists, the concerns of high mercury levels and bad fishing practices, we had thought swordfish was off the books for a long time.  Well, it seems a fishery in Nova Scotia has been working really hard with Whole Foods and the independent and internationally recognized Marine Stewardship Council to introduce sustainable swordfish to consumers for the summer.  Dan Rand, a Whole Foods Market port buyer says ” To get this many fishermen on board 100 percent with the MSC fishery sustainability program is no easy task, and it is a testament to their commitment to the future of the fishery and the fish,” a pretty cool statement considering how much negative talk we hear about sustainability, over-fishing and our over-consumption.

The day we saw that sign over the fish counter, we were reluctant to make the purchase, we did not know about the efforts of the Nova Scotia fishing fleet or Whole Foods and just were not sure whether or not to trust that sign.  We came home, did some research and felt confident enough to go back and make our purchase.  We bought one swordfish steak to share and could not have been happier; with a mild, sweet and meaty texture, the steak was more than we had hoped it would be.  Not wanting to overpower anything and to be frank, take too much time before we could jump into our meal, we chose to simply season the swordfish with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of ground coriander (read: coriander comes from the same plant as cilantro, it is slightly sweet with a touch of lemon).  We cooked the steak on the grill, topped it with room temperature butter, a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves and a spritz of lime.  Then, we shared the steak in silence.  It was delicious. Also try our marinated swordfish skewers.

Can’t find sustainable swordfish?  Try this recipe with Mahi Mahi or Striped Bass.

For more information about sustainable seafood and which fish to avoid check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, you can download pocket sized guides specific to your location!

Grilled Swordfish with Coriander and Lime
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Created By:
Yield: 2
You Will Need
  • 2 5-6 ounce swordfish steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
  • 1 lime
  1. Preheat grill (or pan) to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the swordfish steaks with olive oil then sprinkle salt, pepper and ground coriander on each side. Grill the steaks until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Remove the steaks and top with a dab of room temperature butter, coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and a spritz of lime juice.

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12 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Isabelle August 12, 2010, 5:34 pm

    Beautiful! The coriander and lime sounds like the perfect way to complement the fish without overpowering it.
    BTW, your post totally made my day. I’m trying to be careful about buying only sustainable fish, but I have such a soft spot in my heart for swordfish… I just love that meaty, substantial texture. So the fact that sustainable swordfish lets me have my cake (errr… fish?) and eat it too makes me a happy camper indeed!

  • the Success Ladder August 12, 2010, 5:09 am

    Great article, thanks for sharing this. I have subscribed to your RSS feed and am looking forward to reading more from you.
    Keep up the good work and don’t stop posting please.

  • GiGi August 11, 2010, 11:49 pm

    But what about the mercury content?

    • inspiredtaste August 12, 2010, 8:31 am

      Good question GiGi, we are doing a bit more research!

    • inspiredtaste August 12, 2010, 11:11 am

      So, we did a bit more research. Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do to control the level of mercury that can be in swordfish. The increased levels of mercury in all fish is due to industrial pollution and the type of lifestyle the fish lives. Given that a predatory fish like swordfish eats other fish that can contain mercury and they live longer they tend to absorb higher amounts of mercury. The FDA does say that as long as you eat the fish that may contain higher levels in moderation you will not be affected (this of course is for a normal adult, pregnant women and those who may have health issues/elderly/children may be affected). We found this information on Wholefood’s and FDA websites. Bottom line seems to be that Wholefoods and fisheries are working hard for sustainability, but now the next step is to work on decreasing pollution levels. One step at a time I guess 🙂

  • Jessica August 11, 2010, 11:01 pm

    I love swordfish but didn’t know there was such a thing available as sustainable swordfish. I’ve got to try to find some. Love the simplicity of this recipe!

  • inspiredtaste August 11, 2010, 12:25 pm

    Wendi, you are welcome to test anytime 🙂

  • inspiredtaste August 11, 2010, 12:24 pm

    foodies at home: it was a treat, we really LOVE swordfish, but rarely buy it!

  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon August 11, 2010, 12:15 pm

    My, coriander and lime sounds like a great pairing for fish. Please let me know when you open the test kitchen for tastings ; )

  • foodies at home August 11, 2010, 11:27 am

    Looks fresh and beautiful! A simple treat!

  • Eliana August 11, 2010, 11:09 am

    This looks and sounds divine. I make a corriander and lime roasted cornish hen that I love so I know I would deifnitely enjoy this.

    • inspiredtaste August 11, 2010, 11:10 am

      Eliana, using the coriander and lime on cornish hens sound fantastic! We are trying that soon 🙂


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