Garlic Butter Swai Fish Recipe [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 12 reviews

Fish and Seafood Keto Main Dishes Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 15 minutes

Swai Fish makes an excellent quick dinner entree for it is prepared easily using very few ingredients. It is highly versatile and quite affordable as well!

For other quick dinner recipes, check out Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Cube Steak, and Quinoa Salad!

Easy Lemon Butter Swai Fish

Swai Fish has a naturally neutral flavor which makes it an ideal dinner dish. Also, it very healthy, full of vitamins and budget-friendly. It is quite inexpensive, considering that it hails all the way from Asia. With that said, you will mostly find it as frozen fillets and individually packed. Also, you can use it readily with almost zero preparation.

What we like about it is that it is not fishy at all. It is lean and holds up pretty well as you cook it. In addition, it absorbs the flavors in which it is cooked easily, so you can make numerous recipes with it. If you are looking for a quick, delicious, and budget-friendly dinner, then this recipe is the way to go!

What is swai fish?

Sometimes called Basa, it has white flesh and strives in freshwater just like tilapia but with a milder flavor. The majority of the country’s supply comes from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. 

Is swai fish healthy?

It does not have high levels of omega-3 fat and protein, unlike many other species. But it does have high levels of niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium depending on how it was fed.

How to cook swai fish?

There are many ways on how to cook, and some of our favorite ways are to pan-fry and bake it.

The important thing is to be able to reach 145 degrees of internal temperature when cooking the fish. This is to kill any bacteria that it may have.

Also, before cooking it, make sure to rinse it well in cold water.

How to pan-fry swai fish?

  1. Clean it: Rinse the fillets and pat them dry with towels. Then, season well with salt and ground pepper.
  2. Fry it: Fry it in vegetable oil on a skillet heated to medium-high until light brown.
  3. Make the sauce: Using the same skillet, melt some butter. Sauté garlic and ginger, then, add the rest of the ingredients. Let it boil lightly then, remove from heat.
  4. Garnish: Put back the fillets into the pan, drizzle the sauce on top, and garnish with lemon and parsley.

How to bake swai fish?

Alternately, you can use the same set of ingredients but instead of frying it, you can bake it. Simply put the fillets in a casserole dish and bake them in the oven preheated at 400 degrees. Do not forget to spray some cooking spray first.

Prepare the sauce the same way and pour over the fillets. Bake further until the flesh comes off easily. This should be done in about 20 minutes.

Can you marinade swai fish?

Absolutely. Marinate it is great because it gives some time for the flavors to properly absorb and reflect in the fish. So if you have some extra time, feel free to marinate it, and just grill them after. Let it sit on the marinade for about 30 minutes or more but not exceeding one whole day.

Grill it and brush the marinade occasionally. Once done, you can boil the remaining marinade for about a minute and serve as the sauce.

What sauce goes well with it?

As it is quite neutral in taste, it will go with any kind of sauce, to be honest. But here are some suggestions:

We love pairing it with Coconut Rice, Oven Baked Potatoes, Grilled Eggplant, or Roasted Asparagus.

Recipe Tips

  • Like with any fish, try using the best quality. To ensure that you are buying the fish raised with the water quality of the pond in mind, look for those certified by groups like the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
  • Also, this recipe works great with other freshwater species as an alternative to it like the American catfish or Pacific cod.
  • Alternatively, this is a great recipe to use on tacos or enchiladas. 
  • If you have any leftover, store it tightly in a container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Swai Fish Recipe

Lemon Garlic Butter Swai Fish

Swai Fish makes an excellent quick dinner entree for it is prepared easily using very few ingredients. It is highly versatile and quite affordable as well!
5 from 12 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 688kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 2 fillets Swai fish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Lemon
  • Italian parsley (chopped)


  • Rinse the swai fish fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and wait for the oil to start sizzling. Pan fry the Swai fish fillet, about 1-2 minutes per side, or until light brown. Transfer to a plate.
  • To the same pan, and the butter and melt, then add garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add capers, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. As soon as the sauce bubbles, turn off the heat.
  • Return the fish to the pan with the sauce and drizzle it on top with a spoon, garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 904mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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Sara Welch

I know what I will be having for dinner tomorrow! This looks amazing and makes an awesome summer dinner option!


Katerina @ diethood .com

mmm..this sounds incredibly delicious!! A wonderful dinner option!!



My family loved this recipe! Thanks!



This is a delicious, yet elegant dinner to make when you can't make it out of the house for date nights.


Jacquelyn Hastert

I love an affordable dinner like this that everyone in the family will enjoy. I am looking forward to adding this to our menu.



Quick and affordable... count me in! I am adding this swai to my menu for next week.


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

I know for sure this would be a huge hit in my house!


Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

I love how flavorful it looks! Definitely a must-make!



I didn't have capers or parsley and this still came out amazing!! pan and stove are kind of shitty lol so when I first flash fried the fish it was sticking to the pan, but I just got the fish out and then added some white wine and scrape the bits, which added even more to the sauce..i remember thinking throughout the whole process that it was going to be terrible....until I took a bite 😁


I am so happy that you loved it, thank you for the feedback!



This was delicious. I made a tiny change with instead of oil or butter I used Ghee for diet purposes. I really enjoyed the amazing flavor!


Happy that you loved it!


Mat Johnson

Very good whole family loved it



I have never been big on eating fish. I had never used capers in anything, and didn't even know what they were but I love to cook and decided to try this recipe. I can tell you now, I am a big fish eater now & have made this 5 times in the last month. This recipe is AMAZING and you will crave this fish recipe if you try it. Thank you to whom ever came up with this recipe.


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