This Blackened Swordfish recipe is simple and packed with flavor! My favorite way to cook swordfish is right on the stove in a cast-iron skillet with homemade blackening seasoning. This whole dish takes under 30 minutes from start to finish. We have a lot of fresh-caught swordfish in the Florida Keys and this is a tried-and-true family recipe that you will love!
Where to Cook Your Catch in Key Largo
If you've got some vacation time, you can come on down to The Keys, hop on a charter, and catch your own Florida Keys swordfish.
After a day of fishing, bring your fish (any fish) to one of our local restaurants and they will cook your catch plus some tasty side dishes to go with it. It might be the best meal you'll ever eat!
The following restaurants will all Cook Your Catch!
What is Blackening Seasoning?
My Zesty Blackening Spice Mix is a mouth-watering blend of spices that you can use to give your fish or meat an unforgettable flavor. Cayenne pepper gives the mixture its signature heat and when cooked, it becomes crispy on top while still being tender inside!
This seasoning can be used for all types of fish and shellfish. Just dust it on your fish and cook in a little oil in a skillet or on a hot grill. Try it on Mahi, Grouper, Hogfish, and Shrimp!
Years ago, I used to get Paul Prudhomme's blackening seasoning because it tastes good and I was able to pick it up at the fish market. Try Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends Blackened Redfish Magic from Key Largo Fisheries or Publix if you're in a pinch!
Make Your Spice Blend from Scratch
These days I'm all about making everything I can from scratch. The recipe listed makes enough for about three pounds of fish. I like to shake up all the spices in a Mason jar. I take out a few tablespoons as needed and save the rest. It should be good for about 6 months in a cool, dark kitchen cabinet.
This seasoning is also great on any kind of fish, shrimp, and mussels.
What You Need to Blacken the Swordfish
This recipe makes about ⅓ cup of seasoning which is enough for 3 pounds of swordfish. Whisk together the following:
- sweet Hungarian paprika
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- ground thyme
- ground oregano
- cayenne pepper
- black pepper
How to Remove the Bloodline from Fresh Swordfish
Most swordfish are sold frozen in vacuum sealed packages that have already had the bloodline removed. If you have fresh fish, the bloodline might still be present. While it's not unsafe to eat, it is very oily and fishy tasting and can easily be cut away. When I finish cooking, I like to throw the pieces in the canal out back so the fish can enjoy them!
Remove the bloodline by cutting away the dark piece from the center of the steak. Two cuts are all you need. Wash the fish under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
How To Season Swordfish
On a medium-sized plate, scatter the blackening seasoning. Brush one side of the fish with a thin coat of oil and press one side of the fish into the seasoning.
Repeat with the remaining fish.
How to Cook The Fish on The Stove
In a 10" cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat for a minute or two, until hot, but not smoking.
Add the fish, with the blackening seasoning face down, and cook three minutes. Lower the heat a little and flip the fish over with tongs and cook another two minutes. Swordfish should be medium or medium-rare. Please note, the FDA recommends cooking swordfish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
How To Cook a Thick Piece of Swordfish
If you have a thick piece of fish, start the fish in a skillet. Cook the seasoned side, face down for five minutes, flip it over, and move the whole skillet to a preheated 350-degree oven and give it about 10 minutes to finish cooking. By finishing the fish in the oven, it will cook through and not burn on the stove.
What Goes with Swordfish?
To serve blackened swordfish, try a simple green salad or fresh roasted or sautéed vegetables. Some good sides include Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, or Sautéed Tomatoes with Shallots. These recipes are all easy to make and should be cooked before the fish so you can enjoy the whole meal while it's hot.
Florida Keys Blackened Swordfish
FOR THE BLACKENING SEASONING
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper use more or less depending on your preference
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE FISH
- 1 ½ pounds swordfish steak defrosted if frozen
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 4 lemons for serving
FOR THE BLACKENING SEASONING
- Whisk together all the spices in a big bowl. Make sure all the spices are blended so there aren't any hot spots.
- Scatter the blackening seasoning on a dinner plate or in a large shallow bowl.
- TO PREPARE THE SWORDFISH
- If you have frozen swordfish, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for about an hour, changing the water every 15 minutes.
- If you have fresh swordfish that still has the bloodline, cut away as shown. Rinse fish under cold running water and pat dry.
- Lightly brush the fish with oil.
- Press the fish into the blackening seasoning on one side.
TO COOK THE SWORDFISH
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch skillet. Heat oil for two minutes until hot, but not smoking.
- Place the fish, with the spices face down in the oil, in the hot pan. Sear fish for 3 minutes and then flip to cook the second side. Lower the heat and cook another 3-4 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.
- For the blackening seasoning: If you're not using the seasoning right away, place all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Store in a dry cupboard for up to 2 months.
- The cayenne pepper in this recipe is where the blackening seasoning gets its heat. I've added ½ teaspoon of cayenne, which produces a medium heat. You can use a little less, or none, if you prefer mild flavors.
- Cooking time: This step could vary. The cooking time could be 2 to 5 minutes per side depending on how thick the fish is.
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and it comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate information, these figures are estimates only.