The Ideal Marinade Base That Won't Compete With Bold Swordfish

Oftentimes an overlooked protein when we're trying to decide what to put on our dinner plate — fish is truly a marvel of versatility that's not only delicious, it's good for us. It also ranges in flavors from light and delicate to meaty and gamey. In the former category, you'll find fishes such as tilapia, halibut, and cod, while the latter includes fishes such as monkfish, mahi mahi, and tuna (via Eating with the Ecosystem). And a definite star in the group of meatier fishes is swordfish.

A saltwater fish that can reach up to 15 feet in length, swordfish is a prized food fish renowned for its substantial, meaty texture, per Legal Sea Foods. Its flavor, however, is fairly mild, taking extremely well to marinades before hitting the grill. But in order to best appreciate this moist, tasty fish, you'll want to stir together a marinade that doesn't overpower it by masking its flavor.

Choose a citrusy marinade to best boost swordfish's flavors

If you love swordfish, you probably know that this meaty fish takes wonderfully to marinades, picking up their flavor before heading to the grill — a cooking method that makes the most of this meaty fish. Though substantial in texture — "as close to a classic steak as you can get," notes Bristol Farms — swordfish actually has a fairly mild flavor that you won't want to overpower with a bold marinade such as, say, BBQ sauce.

Instead, the outlet notes, you should gently flavor swordfish steaks with a citrus-based marinade utilizing fresh lemon, lime, or orange. Our Tasting Table recipe for grilled swordfish marinates the steaks in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and fresh thyme leaves, while Bristol Farms suggests a combo of melted butter, olive oil, and lemon juice. Whatever zesty marinade you choose, just make sure not to soak your fish for more than an hour, as the acidity in citrus fruits will actually start to cook the fish after that time period. Armed with a hot grill and some juicy lemons or limes, your next batch of swordfish should turn out moist, flaky, and full of flavor.