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What is Swai Fish ?

Updated on November 22, 2011

Most of us think we know a good range of fish such as Salmon, Cod, even Catfish but what is Swai fish exactly, where does it come from and what is the best way of cooking it?

Swai fish is a fish native to South East Asia and especially Vietnam but also Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Given the excellent cuisines from these countries it certainly seems worthwhile investigating what Swai fish is. Another advantage of the Swai fish is its cost. As fish prices continue to rise, Swai is at a huge advantage as it is plentiful and retails somewhere in the region of under $5 a pound which is an excellent price.

It is also perhaps not as alien as some people will feel as it is a member of the same family of fish as catfish and is river farmed. Sometimes it may be labelled only as catfish so it is important to check the origin of the fish when you buy it to be sure that it is Swai fish.

So, what is Swai fish like to eat? Well, it is a delicately flavoured white flesh with a somewhat flaky texture that is perhaps best grilled or broiled. Whilst it can be cooked quite simply and has a delicate taste, it is also excellent with sauces.

So, have a look around your local fish market and don’t be afraid to ask your fishmonger. Some will probably look at you blankly and say “what is swai fish?” but the more enlightened will be able to help.

Once you have purchased your Swai, why not give this recipe below a try:

The White Flesh of Swai Fish
The White Flesh of Swai Fish

Grilled Swai Fish Recipe

2 lbs Swai fish fillets

Juice of 2 lemons

4 large garlic cloves, pressed

1-2 tsp ground coriander 

salt and pepper 

olive oil to brush grill 

Place the Swai fish fillets into a bowl and add the lemon juice, garlic, coriander and add salt and pepper. Make sure the Swai fillets are well coated and leave in a fridge for 2 hours to marinate. 

When the fish is ready, brush the grill pan with the olive oil and place the marinated fish onto it. Grill the Swai for between 4 and seven minutes on each side depending on their size and simply serve with the roasted vegetables or side dish of your choice.

So; what is Swai Fish ? Answer ….. DELICIOUS


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