Swordfish Roast with Charred Jalapenos, Garlic & Lemon Sous Vide

There's no other fish quite like swordfish, nutrient dense with a rich, meaty texture it’s almost steak like. Even the most devout fish haters seem to enjoy this denizen of the deep. That being said it might be surprising to the uninitiated to find that it has a slightly sweet and delightfully mild flavor.

Swordfish roast sous vide

I find when entertaining for more than four guests it’s best to keep my menu relatively simple with as few last minute preparations as possible. Fish can be problematic in situations like that as you’re generally preparing individual portions with short cooking times which can frustrate even the most experienced cook.
That’s where today’s recipe not only uses the sous vide technique to gently cook the swordfish ahead vacuum packed in its robust chili studded marinade but it also showcases the cut, an impressive three pound swordfish “roast” that can be carved at the table. Generally cut into steaks swordfish can also be had in loins of any size your pocketbook can cover. As it’s a naturally a lean cut, it stays moist through the sous vide cooking process sealed with its herbal oil rich marinade as long as it’s not overcooked. I like to prepare the swordfish medium rare, if that gives you pause, keep in mind swordfish is also wildly popular as sashimi, sushi and ceviche so don’t feel you need to cook it all the way through unless of course you like that kinda of thing.

Taste of swordfish sous vide

A good rule of thumb when preparing any foods that are not fully cooked is that you buy from a reputable retailer and in the case of fish that its uber fresh and sustainably farmed or sustainably harvested in the wild. The last thing you want to do is buy your guests swordfish that you bought out of the back of someone’s Buick to save a few bucks!

Swordfish sous vide ingredients

Lemon zest


For the swordfish cure:

• 1/4 cup kosher salt, or as needed

• 2 tablespoons sugar, or as needed

• 2-3 pounds swordfish loin

For the charred jalapeno marinade:

• 1 head garlic, separated into cloves

• 2-3 jalapeno chiles, fresh, stems removed

• 1 large cilantro bunch, (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)

• 1 large flat-leaf parsley bunch (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)

• 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, dried

• 1 cup olive oil, evcp or similar

• Kosher salt

• 1 lemon, large, zested and juiced, separated 

Curing swordfish

Charred jalapeno marinade


For the swordfish cure:

1. Mix the salt and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over the entire swordfish making sure to totally coat the loin on all sides and ends.

2. Let sit refrigerated, uncovered for 1 hour

3. Remove from refrigerator and wash off all of the cure in cold running water.

4. Pat dry and reserve.

For the charred jalapeño marinade:

1. Preheat a dry medium sized cast iron skillet or similar over medium heat.

2. Lay in the garlic and chiles and dry roast, turning regularly, until soft and browned in spots, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Cool a bit and when you’re able to hold slip off the garlic’s husks.

4. Roughly chop the garlic and chiles.

5. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic and chiles with the cilantro, parsley, oregano, olive oil and salt to taste.

6. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until nearly smooth

7. Preheat the SV1 to 130°F/55°C

8. Using the VacMaster Bag Stand and an appropriated sized VacMaster bag add the swordfish loin and 3/4’s of the marinade.

9. Using a VacMaster chamber machine vacuum seal the bag and gently place in the SV1

10. Cook the vacuum sealed swordfish for 90 minutes 

11. While the fish is cooking add the lemon zest and juice to the remaining marinade, mix, taste and adjust seasonings, reserve.

12. Carefully remove the fish from the SV1 and remove from the bag.

13. Preheat a medium sized cast iron skillet or similar over medium high heat.

14. Gently pat the loin dry and lightly lubricate with a bit of the reserved marinade.

15. Carefully place the dried and oiled loin on the hot skillet and quickly sear the loin about 45 seconds to a minute on each side or until you have a rich brown crust.

16. Place the swordfish loin roast on a serving platter, carve as needed and serve with the remaining marinade. 

Swordfish in water bath

Finishing swordfish