The Mahi-Mahi is a beautiful looking fish and has bright green, blue, and sometimes golden scales that will sparkle in the ocean. Males have large, protruding foreheads, and females have smaller heads, more round in shape.
In lieu of their tropical name, mahi-mahi dishes are most popular in Hawaii, with the name ‘mahi mahi being Hawaiian itself.
The name translates to ‘strong strong’ which is fitting, given they are exceptionally strong swimmers, reaching almost 60 mph!
They are commonly found in tropical areas of the world and feed on fish that are close to the surface. They usually weigh around 4 pounds, but some reach 30 pounds if they are in suitable conditions.
From Dolphinfish To Mahi-mahi
The name of this fish has a funny history. Back in the 80s, mahi-mahi was known as Dolphinfish.
However, that wasn’t the best name for a fish that was used for consumption, as people were horrified at the thought of eating Dolphins.
To fix this issue, the decision was made to change the name of this menu item to mahi-mahi. A move that was considered good, as dolphins and mahi-mahi are two separate species.
What Does This Fish Taste Like?
Mahi-mahi has a mild taste, with less of a ‘fishy’ flavor than others such as cod or haddock, but is still less flavorsome than swordfish. It has a faint, sweet undertone that many people enjoy.
The texture of this fish is similar to swordfish and halibut as it is firm, but not as ‘steak-like’. It has a thick skin that should be removed before cooking, as it is not pleasant to eat.
However, the skin of a mahi-mahi can be left on while grilling the fish.
Fillets of this fish have lovely, large flakes when they are cooked, and it is a fish that has a low-fat content, that isn’t oily or rich.
This is one of the aspects that makes it such a popular dish, apart from its yummy taste. It also won’t leave you with a heavy or full stomach, as a large salmon fillet might.
How To Choose The Best One
With all fish, the freshest option is catching one yourself! Fishing can be a fun experience, especially if it’s your first time.
However, even for those who are experienced, this fish is tricky to catch as they are so powerful and fast, and not necessarily small.
This makes them hard to catch on a fishing line, so you may have to resort to other options. However, if you’re up for the challenge, then grab your fishing rod and go for it!
If catching them yourself isn’t for you, then you can go to a fish market – just make sure they are a reputable market that supplies quality fish.
When selecting one in a market, you should look out for mahi-mahi that has pinkish flesh, with skin that has stripes or spots that are red and pink.
You should also avoid fish that have a brown, dull bloodline, as bright red shows the fish is fresher. The same goes for any brown spots or dark colors you may see on these fish. This means they haven’t been freshly caught.
One of the most important things to be wary of is their smell. Yes, all fish smell, but they must have that neutral fish smell, rather than one that is overwhelming, or smells a little funky.
If there aren’t any fish markets nearby, getting yourself some frozen mahi-mahi is also a good option.
Once you’ve got your hands on your mahi-mahi, wrap it up in some plastic, and it can be stored in the fridge for around 3 to 4 days, or kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Herbs And Seasonings That Go Well With Mahi-mahi
If you’re not used to cooking fish, it can sometimes be tricky figuring out what herbs and spices suit it. You can’t rely on just salt and pepper forever!
The good news is that the simple taste and texture of fish are hard not to love, so you don’t need to go too crazy on seasonings.
Lemon is a fan favorite when it comes to seafood, simply drizzle a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice over your fillet, and enjoy the combination of both flavors.
Garlic granules are also a great option for fish, but you already knew that, because garlic is…simply amazing.
For those of you who enjoy a kick, then some chili flakes sprinkled over your mahi-mahi will really give it an extra flare, without overpowering the taste. The same goes for parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and onion powder.
These are simple spices and herbs that are probably already lying in your pantry, waiting to be used. Introducing them to your fresh mahi-mahi will do wonders to your taste buds.
How To Cook Mahi-mahi
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Fresh mahi-mahi fillets are super easy to cook compared to other kinds of fish, and there are several ways you can do this to make a delicious dinner.
You can bake them, pan-sear them, fry them, grill them, sauté them, and if you’re a little more adventurous, you can make your own sushi with them!
Below are a few recipe ideas for your fresh mahi-mahi.
Garlic, Lemon Mahi-mahi
This delicious recipe only takes around 20 minutes to whip up, perfect for any evenings that you don’t have the energy to stand over a stove for ages.
All you need to do is melt some butter on a skillet, and fry the mahi-mahi on both sides for around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with some asparagus, and season with salt and pepper.
Then add some chili flakes and more butter, along with some lemon zest to the skillet. Add your cooked mahi-mahi and asparagus, so they can take all that flavor and voila!
See the recipe for the full ingredient list and details.
This is an even simpler recipe than the one above, and it involves making your own little foil parcel and letting it cook!
All you need to do is add your fillets to some foil, drizzle some olive oil over each one and rub it all over them. Add whatever spices you like, with some lemon slices and bake for around 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.
This is an incredibly healthy and easy recipe to follow, and requires barely any effort!
Read the recipe for the full ingredient list and details.
This grilled mahi-mahi recipe has a delicious tropical twist to it, with a pineapple-orange salsa that complements the flavors of this fish tremendously well.
For the salsa, you’ll need to combine some fresh pineapple, ½ an orange, ¼ of bell pepper, ½ jalapeño, lime juice, honey, and some cilantro.
Once you’ve mixed these ingredients together, leave it in the fridge to cool until the rest of your meal is ready.
For the mahi-mahi, All you need to do is grill your fish for around 4 minutes on each side, and drizzle this citrus sauce all over it. View this amazing recipe for full details and instructions.
Most fish are known as some of the healthiest proteins out there, and mahi-mahi is no exception. There are an array of health benefits when it comes to this delicious fish, and they will be detailed below.
Mahi-mahi is very low in sodium, with only 88 mg. This is great if you are trying to watch your daily salt intake, but still, make sure you are eating enough protein.
This fish, like many others, is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fats have an array of benefits such as reducing high blood pressure, helping brain function, and supporting the cardiovascular system.
There is only 0.2g of saturated fat in a 100g fillet of mahi-mahi. This is a great way to still get enough protein in your diet if you are trying to stay clear of the fattier meats such as pork.
A serving of mahi-mahi can provide you with several essential minerals such as selenium. Niacin, magnesium, and lysine. These are beneficial for improving bone health, cell regeneration, muscle function, and blood pressure.
Although this fish is a good source of protein, it is pretty low in calories, so anyone who is watching their calorie intake and can’t have too many, this is a wonderful protein source to add to meals.
Some fish can be relatively high in mercury, which is why pregnant women are advised to avoid some kinds of fish.
You’ll be happy to know that mahi-mahi has relatively low mercury levels, compared to others such as swordfish. Therefore, this is something you don’t need to worry too much about consuming.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration and American Heart Association, recommend that adults stick to around one or two servings of Mahi a week.
It is best to avoid eating it every single day, as there is still some mercury in this fish.
To conclude, mahi-mahi is a firm fish that has a minimal ‘fishy’ taste, with some sweet undertones.
It is a perfect option for those who don’t enjoy the overpowering fish flavor that some seafood has.
It is a very popular menu item, especially in Hawaii, and it is a great, healthy source of protein you can add to your meals.
Its low calorie and fat content make it a great option for those who need to watch their fat or calorie intake, while also providing them with a yummy source of protein!
Whether you catch it yourself, buy it fresh, or get some frozen, this is a delicious seafood option, that is very easy to cook yourself at home, and can provide you with some delicious meals packed with vitamins and nutrients.
If you’re stuck on how you can cook this fish, this article has provided you with some wonderful recipes that are super quick to whip up, no matter if you are cooking for one, or for a whole family!
Take your pick and happy cooking!