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Pan-seared swai

This marks a first, folks: the first time I was making a grocery list, thinking, “Hmm, what shall I have for dinner?” and then I had an epiphany — “I’ll look for recipes on our food blog!” The first thing I found that appealed (and looked easy enough) was Gloria’s Super Easy Weekday Night Fish recipe, so I added frozen fish and a couple other things to the list.

I had never heard of swai before, but sure enough, it was stocked right next to the tilapia and was cheaper, so I gave it a try. Apparently the proper name for it is “iridescent shark” (even though it’s a catfish, not technically a shark), which makes it even better. I don’t think I like it better than tilapia, as Gloria, did, but I certainly liked it an equal amount.

Pan-seared swai

I don’t like onions, so I threw some fresh chopped garlic and dried basil (my fresh basil had gone off) and a couple tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. I added a splash of apple cider vinegar to the mix, which added a nice tang to the smell, though it didn’t taste especially strong on the fish. Then I rubbed salt and white pepper on the fish, and cooked it for about three minutes per side, following Gloria’s directions.

Pan-seared swai

I sprinkled some rosemary and tarragon on the fish, and then thought, “What the heck?” and added a dash of ground cloves. Then a generous amount of white wine, since that was what I had handy.

Meanwhile, I was cooking some white rice on the back burner, and steaming some mushrooms and broccoli over the rice. When the fish was done, and the mushrooms and broccoli were starting to get there, I flipped the fish onto a plate and added the veggies to the pan I’d cooked the fish in, adding some more olive oil, wine, and spices.

Mushrooms & broccoli

Next time I think I might plan ahead a bit more about the sauce for the veggies — compared to the fish, they and the rice were a bit bland. The fish, though, turned out perfectly.

Pan-seared swai


  1. Gloria says:

    Hoooray! I’m glad you enjoyed the swai :D Also, your pictures turned out mouthwateringly delicious looking.

    1. Ellen says:

      Thank you! I don’t think any post here is truly complete without pictures.

      I used to broil fish a lot, but I like the way it turns out pan-seared much better. Also, it’s quicker!

  2. susan urshan says:

    I too have found Swai to be an enjoyable delicious choice for a quick meal. It is yummy when baked too. I use the cajun breading in box after dipping in egg I roll in cajun crumbs squeeze a touch of lemon on each fillet and bake 375 for 18 imn.

  3. Henry says:

    we have also made this dish, twice! in fact i wanted to make it again but michael complains if we have the same dish three times in two weeks. the swai is very affordable and tasty. we don’t have a cast iron skillet so i have trouble searing it properly i think, but it still comes out tasty!

    1. Epicurean100 says:

      if you are having trouble searing it start with a smoking hot pan (literally) pull off heat after smokes just starts to form. add fish and return to HIGH heat after 2-3 minutes remove from pan and place on lined sheet pan seared side up and bake for 5-7 minutes in 350ish oven it lets you move more fish and sear it perfectly without worrying about overcooking.

  4. Jessica says:

    Just found this blog and tried this recipe… it was fantastic! Love the swai and will be making this again

  5. Z-man says:

    I just purchased Swai from Super Target. $5 a bag of 5 individually wrapped.

    I just fried up a piece in Olive Oil and put some seasoning salt on.

    IT WAS EXCELLENT. Will continue to buy.


  6. Ruby says:

    Tonight was my first time ever trying swai and it was delicious. I will be trying this recipe next it look tasty.

  7. Stephen says:

    I cooked mine in olive oil. Sprinkled in some chili powder, marjoram, thyme and cummin. The kids actually loved it! I’ll definitely be making again.

  8. Making my own version of this tonight. Didn’t really know how to cook
    Swai fish either and never had it..

  9. […] crumbs, lightly seasoned with oregano and onion powder, (not too much!), but there are hundreds of good-looking recipes available — (I like the tarragon and rosemary idea suggested in this […]

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