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.
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
Garlic scapes tops, or scallion
- Wash the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.