Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Swordfish with Tomato Sauce | A LEGENDARY Dish from the South of Spain
All Recipes, Main Dishes / February 16, 2022

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce | A LEGENDARY Dish from the South of Spain

This Swordfish with Tomato Sauce, known in Spain as Emperador con Tomate, is what classic Spanish food is all about. It´s packed with flavors, easy to make and comes together in just 20 minutes. Serve it next to some roasted potatoes and a crunchy baguette for one heck of a great meal.

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce
To make this recipe, I used fresh swordfish steaks, but you can also use frozen. Just make sure to fully thaw them out before starting. Either way, you want to pat the swordfish steaks down with paper towels before cooking. This way they can absorb all the flavors.

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce
For the tomato sauce, I finely grated fresh tomatoes. But you can always use canned tomato sauce or even passata. To flavor the tomato sauce, I added some sweet smoked Spanish paprika. This adds an incredible depth of flavors and smokiness to the sauce.

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: Important to use a nonstick pan to cook the swordfish. With the technique I cooked it in, called ¨A la Plancha¨ in Spain, you add no fat into the pan. Instead, you brush the swordfish with olive oil and add into the hot pan. If your pan is not nonstick, this technique will not work and your fish will stick to the pan.

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Spanish Swordfish with Tomato Sauce

Swordfish with Tomato Sauce
5 from 3 votes

Spanish Swordfish with Tomato Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 237 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 45 ml
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 1.15 grams
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 8oz fresh swordfish steaks 225 grams each
  • handful finely chopped fresh parsley
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  1. Finely grate between 3 to 4 tomatoes to end up with 1 cup (225 grams) of tomato sauce, remove the skins from 2 cloves of garlic

  2. Heat a small fry pan with a medium heat, add in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the cloves of garlic, mix continuously, after 3 minutes and the garic is lightly sauteed, remove from the pan and discard

  3. Add in 1/2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika into the hot olive oil, quickly mix together, then add in the 1 cup of tomato sauce, season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together and lower to a low heat

  4. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick grilling pan (or regular nonstick fry pan) with a medium-high heat

  5. Pat dry the swordfish steaks with paper towels, then brush each one with olive oil and season with sea salt & black pepper, do this on both sides

  6. Add the prepared swordfish steaks into the hot grilling pan, cook for 90 to 120 seconds per side, then transfer into serving dishes

  7. At this point, the tomato sauce should have thickened up, mix together and remove from the heat

  8. Add the tomato sauce over the swordfish steaks and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh parsley, serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Spanish Paprika I used to make this recipe

Nutrition Facts
Spanish Swordfish with Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 14mg1%
Potassium 611mg17%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2297IU46%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Kathryn Withee

    5 stars
    What a wonderful culinary elevation for Swordfish. Just plain delicious and my newest favorite. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    10 . Dec . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Much love 🙂

      11 . Dec . 2022
  2. Jacqueline M. Mayo

    While I really love your articles about food in Spain, I need to correct you on this one. Emperador isn’t Pez Espada(sword fish). They are similar when you look at them side by side, but they are two different species.

    18 . Feb . 2022
  3. Barbara

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. People- do NOT overcook your swordfish. Served with roasted potatoes and a simple salad. Thank you Albert!

    17 . Feb . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      17 . Feb . 2022
  4. David Espinosa Santos

    5 stars
    Thank you for ALL of your videos! I have fallen in LOVE with Spanish cuisine through your presentations. I am a Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian American and I love the food of my roots. On both sides, my roots go back to Spain and I am so thrilled to learn more and more about it”s food. Thank you so much!

    16 . Feb . 2022
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 much love

      17 . Feb . 2022

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