If you’re fond of eating quality seafood, you must have come across mahi mahi. There’s also a good chance that you might have seen it on a restaurant menu under a totally different name because mahi mahi goes by many other names.
Let’s take a look at what is mahi mahi and how you can use this delicious fish in your everyday cooking.
What is Mahi Mahi?
The word mahi mahi is the Hawaiian name for the fish, meaning “strong strong.” It’s a perfect way to describe the fish as it features great speed and stamina. Also, its ability to fight makes it tough to land catch.
Mahi mahi swim in warm waters, but are most abundantly found in the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
The fish is also commonly known as the dolphin fish or dolphin. However, it’s completely unrelated to the air-breathing mammal with the same name. The dolphin is a marine mammal and is different from the dolphin-fish, which is a fish in true nature.
In Spanish speaking countries, the fish is called Dorado or Dorado Mackerel. Dorado is the Spanish name for golden. This name has been used because of its shimmery scales often in shades of golden and yellow. The fish actually sports a wide range of colors, including bright blues, yellows, and greens.
Moreover, they can even change colors based on the environment and activity. For example, the mahi mahi appears a cooler, blue shade while swimming underwater. It takes on a more golden-yellow while feeding.
The average weight is 3 to 6 pounds, but the largest mahi mahi can reach up to 70 pounds.
This fish has both great flavor and the nice, firm texture that is enjoyed by most seafood fans. It’s also a healthy lean fish with 145 calories, 31 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat per 6-ounce serving. In addition, it has other essential nutrients, including vitamin-B12, omega-3, iron, phosphorous, selenium, potassium, and niacin.
What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like?
Mahi mahi has a mild flavor as compared to salmon and other fish having a strong fishy flavor.
The mild, sweet flesh starts off pinkish when you begin cooking but turns white as it cooks. The meat is lean, sweet, and tender. Its low-fat content gives it more firm texture and meaty taste.
You can alter the taste of the fish based on how you cook it. It goes well with ginger, lemon, dill, thyme, and a variety of other spices.
How to Pick out Mahi Mahi
Fresh mahi mahi is usually available throughout the year. But, you will find the best selection in mid-spring through late-summer, especially if you’re living in North America. Frozen mahi mahi fillets are also available all year round.
When looking for mahi-mahi at the store, there are a few things you should keep in mind to pick out the freshest fillets at the fish counter.
- Color – Mahi-mahi, whether sold frozen or fresh, is pink with pale red spots or stripes and occasional light blue or brown tinges. The meat should be firm. Don’t buy fish that is showing brown areas or dullness, especially on the edges as it is an indicator of the fish going bad. If you see any darker bloodlines or spots, there’s nothing to worry about. They should just be trimmed otherwise the fish will have a strong flavor when cooked.
- Smell – Mahi-mahi should never smell too fishy or look mushy. Always pick firm and resilient fillets or steaks that look fresh and have a nearly neutral odor.
- Skin – The skin should be shiny and moist, not dry and dull. Skin color can be anywhere from silver to gray with tiny black spots and yellow-golden streaks.
How to Eat Mahi Mahi
Mahi mahi is the perfect all-rounder fish for just about any cooking method you want to use. You just have to clean the fish and then you can either poach, bake, steam, grill, broil or fry it. The fish is quick to cook so make sure not to overcook or burn it. Depending on the thickness, it will only need 3 to 4 minutes per side to cook through.
Another popular way to eat this fish is by simply pan-searing it. This method lets the flaky texture of the fish shine through the recipe. You can pair it with a buttery, lemon sauce drizzled all over the fish.
Caribbean-style salads and green veggies, such as asparagus, green beans, and broccoli work well as sides for a complete mahi-mahi meal. Some garlic bread, steamed rice, or mashed potatoes are also good candidates if you’re making a saucy recipe.
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How to Eat Mahi Mahi
No, mahi mahi and tuna are two very different types of fish. However, both of them fall into the category of lean fish.
Tips on Preparing Mahi Mahi
Keep in mind these handy tips when cooking mahi mahi.
- A non-stick pan or cast iron pan is best for cooking mahi mahi on a stovetop.
- If you want that nice brown crust on the mahi mahi, make sure your pan is just beginning to smoke and you have patted dry your fish with paper towels to remove extra moisture before adding it to the pan.
- Let the first side cook longer to create a crusty layer. Then, flip over the fish and cook the second side for just a few minutes.
Last Few Words
If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll enjoy eating mahi mahi. The best thing about the fish is that it cooks quickly, is super healthy, and the recipes are all really simple.
Have you tried mahi mahi before? It’s time to give this fish a shot if you haven’t. Do share your experience with us in the comments below.