How to Cook Sailfish

Last Updated: 09.08.20

Sailfish is a species usually found in the colder areas of all oceans on the Earth. Blue to gray in color, their erectile dorsal fin is a characteristic which makes them easy to spot, together with the elongated bill. They can grow to be as big as 10 feet in length and can weigh 220 pounds. The sailfish can be used as food, and there are ways to cook it, even though it is more popular as a game-fish.

If you want to make sure that you catch the fish so you have something to serve for the very anticipated meals, check out our articles on topics such as how to find a good saltwater fly rod and reel or a reliable saltwater fly fishing combo.

Ways of cooking sailfish

This kind of fish is rich in proteins, vitamins A and B and other vital nutrients which can be preserved by using the right cooking method. One of the most popular ways of preparing a meal is to fry the sailfish.



A little bit easier and faster regarding cooking time than other recipes, this one requires you to start by cutting the sailfish fillets and soaking them in milk for about 30 minutes.

You can use oil or butter to fry the fish, which can be mixed for extra flavor with chopped red onion, pepper, garlic and lemon juice; however, these have to be added to the pan before the fish itself and stirred until the onions turn light brown.

Cooking the meat only takes about 5-6 minutes under normal circumstances, but according to your preferences, the time can be extended. Serving can be done with rice or pasta; keep in mind to sprinkle lemon juice, as it gives the fish a better taste and makes it feel lighter.



Another popular method of cooking sailfish is by baking. There are no significant differences between preparing this species or more commonly eaten fish such as bass or trout.

Seasoning is yet again necessary, and salt and pepper give a great taste. Once seasoned, place the sailfish fillets in the preheated oven (to 300 degrees Fahrenheit), after brushing them with olive oil.

Depending on your tastes and the fish itself, the cooking time should be 15 to 25 minutes; however, this value is not fixed and can be extended or shortened, depending on the results you want to achieve. After removing the baking dish from the oven, garnish with lime wedges, parsley, and tomatoes.

No matter the cooking method you opt for, keep in mind that the flesh of this fish is firm and meaty. However, it lacks the mildness, or rich flavor similar fish are known for. The fillets are also large, but you can also find them sliced into steaks, ready to be cooked or prepared.


How to use brine

Some people have discovered that the secret to obtaining the perfect dish is to submerge the sailfish in a brine solution made of salt, sugar, and spices.

The brine can be prepared by dissolving about 6 ounces of salt and sugar for every 2 quarts of water (which must be boiling) with a personal choice of herbs, spices or flavors. Soak the steaks for 2 hours or more, to obtain the best results.

One alternative for those who fancy neither baked nor fried fish is to grill it. The sailfish steaks, once prepared as mentioned above, can also be cooked this way. Brush them lightly with oil marinade or with plain oil, and then cover them with a crust of spices.

Once the grill has been preheated, place the pieces on it and allow about 3-4 minutes worth of searing time for each side. They will come out medium-rare when done, under typical circumstances.

Cooking on skewers

Sailfish, which has a firm flesh texture, can be cooked on skewers, too. After allowing them to soak for at least two hours in the solution mentioned above made from salt, sugar, and spices, marinate them for up to one hour in fruit juice of your choice.

Cut the steaks into bite-size cubes and thread them on a skewer. Over a very hot grill, they will be done fast and ready to serve with a garnish or side dish of your choice. In case you are not a fan of skewers, you can try the kebab version of the fish.

Cut the steaks into flat but wide strips and stir-fry them with ginger, chili, and other strongly flavored spices and herbs. Asian seasonings can also accompany the sailfish, but this depends on your preferences.


Other aspects

Since the flesh is not intensely flavored, but it is meaty, you have an excellent chance of obtaining a fantastic taste by combining it with bold seasonings, strong aromas and dominant spices.

While sailfish is rarely available at everyday stores, you can conveniently find it at particular resorts or fishing villages, as it is a popular game fish. If you are unsure about preparing it, you can ask the locals to teach you or to cook the brine or marinade for you.



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