Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making



Firm texture, light meat with moderate flavor. Extra lean fish.


Shark, Tuna, King Mackerel.

How Much to Buy

Whole or drawn fish: 3/4 to 1 pound per serving.

Dressed or cleaned fish: 1/2 pound per serving.

Fillets or steaks: 1/4 to 1/3 pound per serving.

Buying, Storage and Handling

Remember to purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the trip home.

Fresh whole fish should have:
-- A shiny surface with tightly adhering scales.
-- Gills that are deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus and off-odor.
-- Clean shiny belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones.
-- A mild aroma, similar to the ocean.

Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have:
-- A translucent look.
-- Flesh that is firm and not separating.
-- A mild odor, similar to the ocean.
-- No discoloration.
-- Packaging that keeps them from being bent in an unnatural position.


Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.

After handling raw seafood thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water.

Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.

Discard marinade; it contains raw juices which may harbor bacteria.

When marinade is needed for basting reserve a portion before adding raw seafood.


The general rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, at the thickest part of the fillet or steak, at 400-450 degrees F.

If fish is cooked in parchment, foil or a sauce, add 5 minutes to the total cooking time.

Fillets less than 1/2 inch thick do not need to be turned during cooking.

Fish cooks quickly. Do not overcook.

Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Poaching, steaming, baking, broiling, sautéing, microwaving are excellent low-fat cooking methods, if you do not add high fat ingredients.

Marinate in your favorite salad dressing prior to cooking.

Broil, bake, steam or microwave, then cube and add to pasta or salad greens for a delicious salad.

Broil or grill with lime-butter and seasoned salt.

Oil the grill to prevent fish from sticking.

Bake whole fish with a crab or shrimp stuffing.

Add leftover fish in broken pieces to salads, soups or sauces.


Nutritional values for approximately 4 ounces (114 grams) of raw, edible portions

Nutritional Values - Swordfish
Description Amount Unit
Calories 130  
Calories From Fat 35  
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 105 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0 g
Protein 23 g
Vitamin A 2 %DV
Vitamin C 0 %DV
Calcium 0 %DV
Iron 6 %DV
Omega-3 Fatty Acid 0.83 g

Mercury Advisory

For women of child-bearing age and small children there health hazards associated with mercury in Swordfish. For additional information, visit these web sites:

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