How to Cook Swai Fish: The Ultimate Recipe Guide

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Trying to eat healthier but failing? Or have you been trying to attempt to convince a loved one to start eating fish and veggies?

Many people balk at the idea of eating fish as they don’t like the taste. The fishy taste is off-putting but did you know not all fish have that nasty taste? If you start someone off with delicate and great-tasting fish, you can get rid of the reluctance people have towards them.

One such example is the swai fish. This flaky fish has a light taste that pairs well with a whole host of spices, condiments, and sauces. 

If you’ve never heard of it before, or aren’t sure how to prep this fish, we’re going to give you a whole stack of swai recipes so that you will know how to cook swai in pretty much every way possible.

Whether you want to bake a swai fillet, pan-fried swai, or braise it in a delectable sauce, we have you covered with these easy swai fish recipes!

Why Choose Swai?

For those who often find themselves hesitant towards consuming fish due to its distinct taste, swai presents a delectable alternative. This mild, flaky fish boasts a delicate flavor that complements a variety of spices, condiments, and sauces.

If you’re unfamiliar with swai or uncertain about its preparation techniques, worry not. We’re here to provide you with a plethora of swai recipes, ensuring you can prepare it in every way imaginable.

The Origin and Nutritional Value of Swai

Native to Asia, particularly farmed extensively in Vietnam, swai has gained popularity in North America for its nutritional benefits. It’s a rich source of lean protein and essential fatty acids, such as omega-3, which are vital for heart health, skin, hair, and nails. Here’s a quick nutritional breakdown of a 4-ounce serving of swai:

  • 70 calories
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 11 milligrams of omega-3 fats
  • 45 grams of cholesterol
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates

Given its protein content and absence of carbs, swai is an ideal choice for individuals following keto or low-carb diets. If you’re exploring for substitutes, consider tilapia, tra, Vietnamese catfish, panga, or cream dory. However, it’s worth noting that swai absorbs sauces and spices more effectively than tilapia, enhancing its flavor profile.

Swai Cooking Tips

Achieve delectable swai dishes every time with these tips:

  • Avoid overcooking to prevent a rubbery texture.
  • Season with lemon, salt, and pepper to eliminate fishy odors.
  • Wash fillets under running water with ample salt.
  • Enhance flavor by marinating swai in soy, turmeric, or crushed ginger.
  • Complement swai with vegetables like asparagus and tomatoes.
  • A batter-dipped, deep-fried fillet can be the foundation for a delightful fish and chips dish.

Swai Recipe Compilation

How to Cook Swai Fish
pan fried swai

Baking Swai: Healthy and Flavorful

Baking swai fillets with a zesty sauce offers a healthy and tantalizing option. Here’s how to do it:


  • 6 Swai fish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • Seasonings: salt, black pepper, paprika, and optional white wine vinegar


  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter, and sauté garlic until aromatic. Introduce lemon juice, stir, and remove from heat.
  3. Arrange swai fillets on a baking pan, sprinkle seasonings, and pour the butter sauce over them.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is tender and flaky. Garnish and serve.

Grilled Swai: A Charred Delight

Grill Swai Fish
Grill Swai Fish

Relish the smoky flavor of grilled swai with this fail-proof recipe:


  • 4 swai fillets
  • Olive oil, BBQ rub/spice mix, salt, pepper, and lemon slices


  1. Preheat the grill to medium. Brush swai fillets with olive oil and sprinkle seasonings.
  2. Place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Ensure an internal temperature of 145F before serving over lemon slices.

Pan-Fried Swai: Crispy and Luscious

Fry Swai Fish
Fry Swai Fish

Discover the secret to crispy swai fillets with this quick recipe:


  • 1 lb. swai fish
  • Olive oil, unsalted butter, dry white wine, lemon juice, and parsley


  1. Clean swai fillets and season. Heat a skillet and pan-fry fillets until golden brown.
  2. In the same pan, prepare a lemon-butter sauce and drizzle over the fried swai. Garnish and serve.

Braised Swai: A Taste of Vietnam

Braise Swai
Braise Swai

Experience the authentic flavors of Vietnam with this swai recipe:


  • 1 lb. swai fillets
  • Vegetable oil, garlic, onion, salt, fish sauce, soy sauce, water, coconut water, chili, and black pepper


  1. Sauté garlic in oil until browned. Layer onion and place fish fillets atop.
  2. Introduce seasonings and liquids. Boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish and serve.

More Questions?

Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked frequently about cooking swai.

01. What Kind of Fish is Swai?

Swai is a variant of catfish with white flesh and minimal aroma.

02. How Long to Bake Swai for the Best Results?

Typically, swai should be baked until it’s tender and flaky, which is around 10-15 minutes at 375F.

03. How to Bake Swai Fish in Foil?

Lay out a length of foil on your baking shit and place your seasoned fillets on top. Wrap the foil around them tightly and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

04. Is Swai Fish Healthy?

Swai is a healthy meal option as it contains lots of protein and fat and no carbohydrates.

05. Is It Safe to Eat Swai Fish?

As swai is extensively farmed, the fish can contain chemicals and antibiotics. This results in water pollution and for some people, causes health concerns. For this reason, avoid factory-farmed swai and get your fish from a reputable source.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re trying to consume more protein, knowing how to cook swai can give you lots of healthy options. Swai is inexpensive you can buy in bulk to eat every week. 

Whether you want to cook your swai in a soy-based sauce to eat with a rice bowl, or you want to grill some up to enjoy with fire-roasted tomatoes and pasta, this fish makes for a filling and hearty meal. 

So what’s stopping you from buying a couple of fillets and giving one of these recipes a try?

👩‍🍳You may also like: How to Grill Rockfish: Soft, Flakey and Juicy!


  1. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) on Cultured Aquatic Species:
  2. USDA National Nutrient Database for Swai:
  3. Seafood Health Facts on Swai vs. Tilapia:

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