Low Sodium Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Red Onion Relish
Seafood always seems to be a challenge for low sodium people. I think we have it in our heads that; “How can something that lives in saltwater its whole life not be loaded with salt?!” That thought did cross my mind. More than once. As I dug deeper into it though, just like every other product we buy, it has to do with how it is processed once caught. Fish actually excrete sodium through glands and gills. So they actually filter out the salt from the water they drink and put it back out into the ocean. Some fish are higher in sodium, which means you will need to minimize the other sauces or ingredients you pair it with. My example today is low sodium grilled swordfish with pineapple red onion relish.
I Love To Grill Fish
I perfected my mastery of grilling as a means to cook dinner as a bachelor living on Clearwater Beach in Florida. My apartment was always way too hot. I was bound and determined not to heat it up any further by cooking inside. So, like the typical single guy, I survived off of take-out, and deli sandwiches made at home. At least I did until I got sick of it. I bought a small hibachi grill at a garage sale and was able to affix it to the metal rails of my deck. I wanted to eat “real” food.
That tiny grill taught me all about how to utilize coals efficiently, and how to cook over proper heat. It taught me the importance of the sear, and that magic moment that food goes from perfect, to overdone. I became a whiz with burgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken breasts, and so on, but I had a goal. I needed to be able to perfectly grill fish of all kinds. Not only did I love seafood, but there was a convenience factor. Two doors down from our lot was a fresh fish market. A tiny hut with all the fresh fish of the day, and it was surprisingly cheap as well.
I started with salmon (a fish I knew well from living quite a while in the Pacific Northwest), and then expanded my horizons. I loved fish that had a firm texture, and wasn’t overly “fishy”, so I tried mahi-mahi. It was great! I then moved on to many other local Florida treats; swordfish, marlin, snapper, and gulf shrimp. Being a bachelor and former bartender, I had a well stocked bar, but not a well stocked pantry. In Florida, it is a ritual to toast the sunset, so every evening I would join in the tradition of toasting a Margarita at sunset.
Use Simple Ingredients Close At Hand
By accident and lack of other cooking spices in my pantry, I discovered the ingredients to my Margarita were also the perfect ingredients to cook a great piece of fish. I would soak the filet in the Tequila and Lime juice. and season the filet with salt and more fresh lime juice as I would cook it on the grill. These days I need to lose the salt, but the other ingredients still make a great marinade and flavor profile for a fresh piece of fish on the grill.
Another perfect pairing and a staple in a guy’s refrigerator was salsa. It made a perfect sauce or accompaniment to the fish and I could usually whip up some rice as a side dish. Over the years, I learned how to make many salsas on my own, which tasted better than most store bought. You can get my recipe for a Tomatillo Salsa here. Or my traditional low sodium salsa is here
The Recipe For Low Sodium Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Red Onion Relish
All of this brings me to this recipe I am sharing today. I still love to grill. I still love fresh fish, and I still love salsa. This recipe for low sodium grilled swordfish with pineapple red onion relish takes me back to those days living by the beach, but today’s dish matches the health my health needs today. What dishes are a staple from your past that you wish you could hack the salt from and make healthy?
- 1/2 cup Medium diced fresh pineapple plain or grilled
- 1/4 cup Thinly sliced red onions
- 1/2 Jalapeño minced increase or decrease based on desired level of heat
- 11/2 tsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 tap coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Fresh squeezed lime juice
- 6 4 oz swordfish fillets
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
To make the relish, in a bowl add the pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, mint, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and 1 tsp of olive oil and mix with a spatula. The relish can be made a day in advance and kept stored in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
Coat the swordfish fillets (both sides) with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and season to taste with fresh ground black pepper.
Grill over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side or until the exterior flesh becomes lightly browned.