The Real Reason Swordfish Is So Expensive

It turns out swordfish, much like a seat at Damon Baehrel, is popular and hard to get, a combo that means diners will have to pay a premium if they want to enjoy a juicy piece of the sought-after fish. In 2016, Money Nation reported that the prices of swordfish can range from $13.99 to a staggering $61.99 per pound. But expect to pay even higher prices if you are footing the bill at a fancy seafood restaurant (We're free that night, feel free to put us on the reservation).

Swordfish are challenging to catch because they are so large — really large! In fact, the world record for swordfish is held by Louis Marron for his 1,182-pound catch in 1953 in Chile, according to the International Game Fish Association. They are also very popular, so popular that they were being overfished in the late '80s and early '90s, and environmental groups had to persuade consumers to stop eating them, according to Chicago Magazine. The good news? The efforts were so successful that swordfish have made a comeback and are now considered sustainable.

How swordfish is cooked

Perhaps some of swordfish's popularity lies in its less fish-like qualities. According to Cuisine Vault, swordfish has a moist, dense texture that's reminiscent of beef steak. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and doesn't taste as fishy as other ocean dwellers. Its thickness makes for good steaks that can be skewered kebab style or grilled. It won't even fall through the grates like less solid fish according to The Spruce Eats.

A few more cooking suggestions include using the fish in a seafood stew, chowder, or cioppino, a spicy fish stew originating from San Francisco from Italian immigrant fisherman. The firm fish remains intact, resulting in meaty chunks you can stab with a fork, worth every penny!

It should be noted that its jaw-dropping price isn't the only drawback for swordfish. The mercury level in this fish is high enough that pregnant women are encouraged to avoid it, making for one way to save money while you're expecting.