Entree, Fish, Recipes

Swordfish in Coconut Milk and Green Curry Sauce

Swordfish is one of the few types of fish that can handle bold flavors well, which is why I chose it for this dish, as bold flavors were exactly what I had in mind.

Swordfish is a “meatier” type of fish, with a firm texture, that absorbs flavors and keeps its texture while cooking. The fish also handles freezing well, especially when vacuumed packed, which is what I’ve used here. Obviously, it’s always better to use fresh fish, but when that is not an option, this is the second best.

As I am very fond of coconut milk sauces, this was my starting point for the sauce, and I quickly gathered some ingredients that will mix well with it: scallions, curry leaves, green curry paste and ginger, were the first to appear on the work space.

To that, I’ve added some of my homemade Zhoug paste (a mixture of cilantro, jalapeno and spices), a bit of Trader Joe’s crunchy onion and chili oil, lime zest and juice, and some anchovy paste, which added its unique fishy saltiness to the sauce.

I was also lucky enough to find some fresh garlic scapes at the store. These green stalks are grown from the garlic bulb and have a unique fresh garlicky flavor. As they are highly seasonal, it was a special treat to add them to the sauce, and use the tips for garnish.

All these flavors; spicy, salty, fishy, sweet and lemony; blended into a light greenish sauce, that was very tasty and highly aromatic, and complemented the fish beautifully. Try it and enjoy.



* Click HERE for Zhoug recipe. Store bought can also be used, or any other paste made with cilantro and jalapenos.


Makes: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes



2 x 5 oz (140 grams) Swordfish fillets

1 Tbs oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp Trader Joe’s crunchy onion chili oil (or any similar)

1 Tbs finely chopped garlic scapes, or 1 clove garlic

2 scallions, chopped

1 Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 cup coconut milk

Zest and juice from ½ medium lime

5-6 curry leaves

1 Tbs Zhoug paste (see notes)

1 tsp green curry paste

1 tsp anchovy paste

For serving:

Lime wedges

Garlic scapes tops, or scallion

Chili oil


  1. Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, mix the oil, salt, sugar, crunchy onion chili oil, garlic scapes, scallions and ginger. Sauté over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, curry leaves, Zhoug paste, and green curry paste. Mix well and bring to the verge of boiling. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the anchovy paste. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Add the fish fillets and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for 3 minutes longer, just until the fish is cooked through, but is still juicy (note that it can dry out quite quickly). Serve immediately.

33 thoughts on “Swordfish in Coconut Milk and Green Curry Sauce”

  1. I have to try this beautiful dish Ronit, I love everything about it except the cilantro, so I’ll substitute flat parsley.
    I found my first bunch of garlic scapes yesterday at the farm stand, and I know where I can find the swordfish. I’ve actually purchased both swordfish and tuna vacuumed packed and I was pleased with the quality, even though I was skeptical. The tuna especially was really wonderful vacuum sealed. My fish monger said all tuna we buy here that is “sushi grade” has been flash frozen at sea, it has to be!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dorothy, I’m glad you liked the recipe. It was a trial dish, as part of a menu I’m working on, and I was very pleased with it.
      Cilantro is indeed problematic to many. Parsley is a good substitute, though I sometimes add a bit of mint, or tarragon, to give it a bit more interesting flavor.
      I’m also quite happy with the quality of such frozen fish, especially with individually vacuumed packed. No doubt it’s much safer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi. This sauce worked really well with the fish. I’m now thinking of pairing it with shrimp. I think it can work well.
      Red pepper sauce also sounds so good! I’ll keep it in mind for next time. 🙂


  2. I love every flavor in this — will just need to make a batch of green curry paste, as we used the last of ours a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to try this — I assumed your used Trader Joe’s swordfish – I have been really happy with his, myself. And I love that we were both in the curry/coconut milk mood this week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you David, I’m glad you liked the dish. The sauce paired so well with the fish. It definitely looks like it was coconut milk week for the both of us!
      The fish I’ve used came from a company named “Waterfront Bistro”. I’ll be looking for Trader Joe’s one, as I didn’t see it there the last time I visited. 🙂


  3. You had me at the Green Curry Coconut sauce. I love these types of sauce/s. I think it would be lovely over any firm fleshed fish.
    Thanks Ronit :))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dolly, I’m glad you liked the dish. It was quite delicious.
      As for swordfish, I know there is a debate about it, as it was considered Kosher back in the day, and for some reason it no longer is…
      I would suggest either halibut or tuna as a better substitute than perch. Hope it helps. 🙂


    1. Thank you Mimi, I’m glad you liked the dish. It was a tasty combination of ingredients.
      As for Zhoug, I suggest making small batches of it, as it is much tastier when freshly made. Hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂


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