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Tropical Thai Swordfish / https://www.hwcmagazine.com
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5 from 1 vote

Tropical Thai Swordfish

Tropical Thai Swordfish is a mouthwatering succulent grilled fish with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili and Asian pear.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 369kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • 2 tablespoon oil for frying
    (we used coconut oil)
  • 2 shallots
    peeled and minced
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
    diced very finely (white part only)
  • 4 cloves garlic
    peeled and minced
  • 2 inch Galangal
    (Kha)knob peeled and grated or can use ginger
  • 1-2 Thai Bird Chili
    (Phrik) or to taste - smashed with the back of your knife but left whole(optional)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
    stem removed and sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
    (can also use cooking sherry or white wine or skip if you have dietary issues)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    (use a gluten-free brand if you need to keep gluten-free)
  • 1 Asian pear (nashi) peeled - 1 whole grated (can use other types of pears or apple as well)
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • Oil
    for prepping grill, fish basket or grill pan
  • 4 fillets swordfish fillets (or can use whole fish or any firm white fish)


  • Make Thai Aromatic Herb Mixture: You can either chop up all of your fresh aromatics (shallots, lemongrass, garlic, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and green onions) very fine or use a mortal and pestle to break up into smaller pieces. (We do not generally cut up the chili but instead just smash with the back of your knife. Thai Bird Chili Peppers might be little but they are VERY MIGHTY.) Place oil in frying pan up to medium heat and add in shallots, lemongrass, garlic, galangal, Thai chili pepper, kaffir lime leaves, green onions and sauté until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add mirin or cooking sherry and deglaze the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Add fish sauce, grated Asian Pear (or other types of pears, apples or juice of an orange and juice of a lime. Stir.
  • In a resealable plastic baggie or sealed container place in the cleaned swordfish and add ONLY ONE HALF of Thai aromatic herb mixture (you will reserve ½ of the Thai aromatic herb mixture as a topping upon final serving) and rub the swordfish well. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • Prepare and Preheat grill. Slightly oil grill grates or fish basket to prevent the fish from sticking (You can use gas, charcoal or even a grill plate on top of stove). If you do not have a grill or grill pan, you can also make on the stove top in a frying pan.
  • Remove the swordfish steaks from the marinade and drizzle with a little oil on both sides and place on hot grill. Grill swordfish steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your fish or until the fish flakes easily with fork. Your fish should no longer be translucent but be white in color. Remove from grill and keep warm.
  • Garnish your Topical Thai Swordfish with the other half of the remaining Thai Aromatic Herb Mixture. Serve with a Prik Nam Pla Dipping Sauce if desired and enjoy!


Feel free to exchange swordfish with any white mild fish native to your region. A firm fleshed white fish holds up better on the grill.
Exchanges and substitutions are welcome.
If you cannot find fresh lemongrass, there is the lemongrass paste you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Feel free to exchange a regular onion for the shallots. If you are unable to find galangal, exchange with fresh grated ginger.
You can use any chili you desire such as a jalapeno but note that each chili has a different heat level so you will need to adjust to your taste preferences.
Kaffir lime leaves can be found in an Asian market. However, if you cannot find kaffir lime leaves exchange with 1 teaspoon lime zest but add only AFTER you have cooked the Thai Aromatic Herb Mixture, while it is cooling.
Feel free to use a cooking sherry instead of mirin Japanese wine. If you do not have fish sauce, then salt and pepper your fish to your desired level.
The addition of Asian Pear is for a little natural sweetness. You may also use a little grated regular pear, apple or even a little fresh orange juice. Thai flavors need to keep the balance between spicy, sweet, sour and savory.
Recipe for Prik Nam Pla dipping sauce.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 927mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg