Peppered Swordfish with Cardamom-Carrot Sauce

James Carrier

Notes: Chef Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys restaurant in San Francisco demonstrated this imaginative dish last year at the Winter Wine Escape at the Mauna Kea Resort in Hawaii. Serve with sautéed spinach and roasted fingerling potatoes.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 171
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Protein: 23g
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 5.5g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 116mg
  • Cholesterol: 44mg


  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 3/4 cup refrigerated carrot juice
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 pound boned, skinned swordfish or halibut
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)


  1. 1. Crush cardamom pods; remove black seed.
  2. 2. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, mix cardamom seed, carrot juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, cornstarch, and sugar until well blended. Stir over high heat until mixture boils; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, 7 to 9 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt and more vinegar if desired. Pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, rinse fish, pat dry, and cut into 4 equal portions. Rub fish all over with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan (with ovenproof handle) over high heat. When pan is hot, add fish and turn as needed to brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Sprinkle pepper evenly over fish.
  4. 4. Put pan with fish in a 400° oven; bake until fish is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. 5. Transfer fish to rimmed plates. Spoon sauce evenly around fish and sprinkle with chives.
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