This large fish with a long, flat, sword-like upper jaw is available wild-caught. It is a nomadic marine fish found in the open ocean right around the Australian coast, hunting near the surface mainly at night but also capable of diving to depths of at least 600m. It is caught mainly by tuna longliners off the east and west coasts. Though similar in appearance to marlin it is easily distinguished by its longer, flattened ‘sword’ and lack of scales.
Available year round, with peaks in June-August.
Size and Weight:
Average 70-150kg and 1.5-3 metres (measured from tip of lower jaw to tail fin), but can grow to about 540kg and 4.5 metres.
Though similar to other billfish, such as marlin, it is the only living member of its family and has no close relatives.
Usually sold as steaks, but also sometimes as cutlets or sashimi. Look for cream-pale pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Lay in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.
Average yield is 70% from trunks. Has a slightly sweet flavour, high oiliness and moist, firm flesh with fine flakes. Overcooked it quickly becomes dry. The thick skin should be removed. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.
Pan-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi), pickle. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.
Goes well with:
Anchovies, capsicum, chilli, citrus, garlic, ginger, green onions, mirin, olives, olive oil, onion, sesame oil, tomato, soy sauce, vinegar, wasabi.
Albacore, bonito, striped marlin, tuna.
Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, as fresh trunks or loins.
Post credit | Sydney Fish Market
Our family of 4 tucked into one of the better fish n chips we have had for a long time. Nice crisp batter (not soggy, oily, or smoothed). We had a selection trawler whiting, flake, calamari, sea scallops, potato scallops, and chips all beautifully cooked, and with great taste of the seafood
A good array of locally caught wet fish and a superb take away with outside covered seating. Was recommended to us as the best fish and chips in town and we would agree.
We came to buy a selection of fish and seafood for a BBQ later that day. The choice was first class, and the service good. The fish was very fresh, and we enjoyed the snapper cutlets, the marlin steak and the prawns. Delicious!
My wife and I ordered grilled swordfish. It took some time until it was done, but then we each got a nicely grilled piece about the size of a T Bone steak. Our daughter liked the salad. It might not be the place for a formal dinner but if you are hungry for fish at a reasonable price it’s certainly worth going there.