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Italian Panko-Breaded Swordfish Recipe by Chef Nico Chaize, Nico's Pier 38

Nico Chaize is the head chef and owner of Nico's Pier 38. His Italian Panko-Breaded Swordfish recipe was recently featured in the Star Advertiser:

From January through June, Hawaii's fishing vessels bring in swordfish, a fish with a whiter color meat and mild flavor. Sold fresh at the Honolulu Fish Auction, swordfish has become a staple in his menu at Nico's Pier 38 and is used in one of his most popular menu items, fish & chips.

While 80% of the landings from Hawaii's Longline Fishery stay in Hawai'i and 20% are air-shipped to U.S. mainland fresh fish markets, 50-60% of swordfish landings in the country come from Hawaii's Longline Fishery.

Many locals are unfamiliar with swordfish, opting instead for the more popular ahi. However, with its local abundance and its mild flavor, swordfish is the perfect choice for picky eaters and creative chefs alike!

Try this recipe below for an Italian-inspired recipe using local, auction-fresh swordfish.

Plate of breaded swordfish filet topped with greens, sitting on a scoop of white rice and in a pool of red sauce, with Honolulu Harbor in the background.


  • 2x steak portion of swordfish (7oz each)

  • 1 cup Panko, fresh oregano, salt and pepper

  • 8oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes

  • 8oz can of tomato juice

  • 1 cup white wine

  • Fresh basil

  • 3 cups of heavy cream

  • 1 Yellow onion (chopped)

  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)

  • Olive oil

  • Butter

Sauce Preparation

  • In a saucepan, sauté onion, garlic and butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Deglaze white wine and reduce.

  • Add whole tomatoes with juice. Cook at low heat for 20-30 minutes.

  • Season with salt and white pepper. Add handful of basil leaves.

  • Add heavy cream and cook for an extra 15 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and use hand blender to blend until smooth.

Cooking the Swordfish

  • In a food processor, blend panko, oregano, salt and pepper.

  • Coat the swordfish on both sides without any batter.

  • Add 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil to a nonstick pan.

  • Cook fish in pan until medium rare on the inside. Don't overcook it!

  • Serve with the sauce. Bon Appetit!

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