Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade is a healthy and simple meal to make for a busy weekday supper. This easy swordfish marinade is our favorite way to prepare the fish. Read on for details or jump click here to jump down to the recipe card.
What makes this recipe work
A weekday supper has got to be fast and easy, but it doesn’t have to sacrifice on taste! This Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade has got the fast and easy covered. Our swordfish marinade, with its soy sauce and ginger, gives the swordfish some Asian accented flavors.
On top of that, swordfish a healthy, lean protein, with the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. And our young food critic enjoyed it when we started serving this when he was just getting into fish. The marinade’s soy and honey combination won him over. If you’re able to grab some local honey like we did, that is extra tasty.
This isn’t just any weekday supper, it’s Friday night. Sure, you might be tempted to go out or do takeout at the end of the week. This is very low-maintenance but special enough to get your weekend end started! Speaking of weekend, be sure to check out the wine pairing tips at the end of the post.
Making this recipe
Here is an overview on how to make this grilled swordfish with our easy marinade. Head on down to the recipe card for all the details.
Make the marinade as the grill preheats.
Combine the soy sauce (preferably low sodium), mince garlic clove, olive oil, vinegar, honey and ground ginger in a bowl.
Gently toss the swordfish with the soy garlic mixture so that it well-coated, and let the fish rest in the marinade for about 5 minutes.
Remove the swordfish from the marinade, scraping the larger bits of garlic off–leaving a bit on is good though. Reserve the marinade.
Place the swordfish on the grill on direct, medium-high heat, and cover.
Grill for 6 minutes, then flip it to the other side.
Brush some of the reserved marinade to coat the cooked side of the fish (see “safety tip” below). Grill for another 6 minutes.
Check for doneness: The twelve minutes total grilling time was perfect for our swordfish, but check for doneness before serving. Cooking time will vary based on the heat of your grill and size of the swordfish. Don’t overcook the fish–it should be cooked through but still nice and most.
Serving: When cooked to your liking, remove the swordfish from the grill and place on a plate or platter to rest for a few minutes. Cut into serving portions and plate.
What to serve with grilled swordfish
A quick salad and a simple grain like couscous or quinoa often rounds out this meal featuring marinaded grilled swordfish.
Most recently, we served the swordfish with rice pilaf and a chard salad – an idea we got interviewing Amy Katz for this Cook Local podcast episode.
Check out this collection of side dishes for grilled swordfish for more ideas.
Safety tip for swordfish marinade
Marinades should never be used as an uncooked sauce for your food. In the this recipe, a bit of the reserved marinade is applied mid-cooking, allowing a chance it to be cooked through.
Grilled swordfish marinade FAQ
Swordfish is more delicate than meats that you might marinate. So yes, you can marinate the fish too long. Especially with our swordfish marinade, with the soy sauce, we suggest keeping the marinating to about 5 minutes. You could lengthen the time for a less salty marinade, but still the marinating should be much shorter for swordfish as you would meat.
I like to prepare swordfish with Asian flavors, such as the soy sauce based marinade we use here. Swordfish can also be good with a more Mediterranean flavor profile, based on olive oil, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs.
Yes. I would stick with the soy sauce and garlic as a base, but beyond that you can mix things up. You can try other vinegars — we have used champagne vinegar for instance. Fresh ginger would be nice if you have it. You can also swap sugar for the honey.
Swordfish is done when the fish is white all the way through, which takes about 12 minutes of total grilling time in this recipe. Check for doneness by moving the fish to a platter and cutting a piece open slightly to see if is cooked through. Your cooking time will depend on the thickness of your swordfish and how hot your grill is. You don’t want to overcook swordfish or it will get dried out.
Wine pairing for grilled swordfish
You can go in a number of directions with this dish. You could pour a Chardonnay or other full-bodied white wine. A rosé can be a great option with the grilled swordfish. But you can also pair red wine with swordfish.
Red wine pairings
Pinot Noir and other light reds can work nicely with meaty fish like salmon and swordfish.
For our 2022 update of this grilled swordfish recipe, I opened a bottle of the 2019 L’Ecole No. 41 Frenchtown Columbia Valley ( 14.5% ABV) red wine blend. I had gotten two bottles of it last year from the winery, and came across the remaining bottle as I was considering what wine to open to go with the swordfish.
I recalled the Frenchtown blend was approachable and fruit forward, and thought it might work with the swordfish. It turned out to be a very good match! This wine is a simple field blend from the Washington based L’Ecole, featuring many of their red wine grapes. Merlot is the dominant grape at 45%, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon (18%) and Syrah (17%). The blend shows the food friendliness of Merlot, and Syrah brings some elegance to the table. Definitely a wine pairing for swordfish that I would recommend!
We have also paired an Eric Kent Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir with this Grilled Swordfish and it worked quite nicely. Sean Minor Pinot Noir is an everyday option we have been grabbing recently.
Another particularly good wine pairing for swordfish we have enjoyed is the 2015 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé ($38, 13.5% ABV). This rosé has a taste of watermelon and floral qualities on the palate, with a touch of salinity. The wine is made from 65% Mourvèdre and 35% Cinsault. This classic Bandol Rosé from Provence is an excellent wine pairing for the grilled swordfish!
I sometimes like to top grilled swordfish with kale pesto, which is why you see some pesto alongside the swordfish above. That is a great combo–here’s a link to my grilled swordfish with kale pesto recipe–though the grilled swordfish and Bandol Rosé pairing works better prior to topping the fish with pesto. And for more ideas, be sure to visit our Best Grilled Swordfish recipes roundup, which also has wine pairing ideas.Print
Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade
Simple Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade makes an easy and tasty supper.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Total Time: 17 mins
- Yield: 3 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: Seafood
- 1 swordfish steak, 10 to 12 ozs, about 1.25 inches thick
- 3 tbsp soy sauce, preferably lower sodium
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- generous pinch ground ginger
- Preheat the grill to medium high.
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl: soy sauce, garlic clove, olive oil, brown rice vinegar, honey and ginger.
- Gently toss the swordfish with the soy garlic mixture so that it well-coated, and let the fish rest in the marinade for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the swordfish from the marinade, scraping the larger bits of garlic off–leaving a bit on is good though. Reserve the marinade. Place the swordfish on the grill on direct, medium-high heat, and cover.
- Grill for 6 minutes, then flip it to the other side. Brush some of the reserved marinade to coat the cooked side of the fish. Grill for another 6 minutes. This timing was perfect for our swordfish, but check for doneness as cooking time will vary based on the heat of your grill and size of the swordfish. Don’t overcook the fish–it should be cooked through but still nice and moist.
- When cooked to your liking, remove the swordfish from the grill and place on platter to rest for a few minutes. Cut into serving portions, plate and enjoy.
- Get the marinade ingredients together, then add the swordfish.
- 12 minutes of total grilling time worked well for us, but your time may vary based on the heat of the grill and thickness of your swordfish.
- Marinades should never be used as an uncooked sauce for your food. In the this recipe, a bit of the reserved marinade is applied mid-cooking, allowing a chance it to be cooked through.
Keywords: grilled swordfish marinade, asian swordfish recipe, easy grilled swordfish, swordfish marinade
More easy recipes
This Grilled Swordfish with Soy Marinade was originally published as part of a sample menu for easy weekday suppers. Check these ideas out for more inspiration!
Monday – Pasta with Spicy Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Tuesday – Apple Butter Chicken by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Wednesday – Crockpot Spicy Chicken and Rice by The Foodie Army Wife
Thursday – Creamy Pumpkin Pasta by The Messy Baker
Friday – Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade by Cooking Chat (you are here!)