Mahi Mahi (Dolphinfish)
Mahi Mahi (Dolphinfish)
Visitors to tropical locations are sometimes shocked to sit down in a restaurant and find dolphin on the menu! Don't be alarmed, for in these warm climes the word doesn't refer to the sea mammal, but to the dolphin fish or dorado, also known by its Hawaiian name "mahi mahi," which literally means "strong strong."

Mahi-mahi is a beautiful fish, blue and gold or green and gold, and is highly prized as a game fish. It generally lives only 3 to 4 years. They have green and gold flanks that shine with iridescent colour, and the males are easily identified by their high flat forehead. Ranging in weight from 2 to 50 lb. (1 to 22 kg), the mahi mahi is found in warm tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, with Japan taking in over half of the global catch each year. Originally mahi mahi were a "by catch" of tuna and swordfish fishing, but are now sought after for their own sake.

Nutritional information

  • 157 calories (per 4 oz. / 112 g serving)
  • Moisture: 77%
  • Fat: 0.4 - 0.7%
  • Protein: 18.5 - 20.5%
  • A good source of selenium, potassium, niacin and vitamin B6.

Buying Mahi Mahi
Fresh mahi mahi never smells fishy, and its flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape. Look for moist, translucent (never dried out) flesh.

Mahi-mahi is typically sold, fresh or frozen, as steaks or fillets. Mahi-mahi fillets may be recognized by the row of red spots in the flesh. Plan to buy 1/3 pound [150 g] fillets or steaks per serving.

Storing Mahi Mahi
To store mahi mahi, remove packaging, rinse fish under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place it on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Mahi mahi will store well this way for up to two days.

When well-wrapped, mahi mahi can be frozen for up to two months in a refrigerator freezer and for three to four months in a deep-freeze.

Culinary File
The meat of the mahi mahi is firm and dark, turning white and opaque when cooked. It is low in fat, with a delicious sweet flavour. However, like any fish, it will be dry if overcooked.

The skin is tough (in fact, it is even used in "leather" craft) and so is usually removed before cooking. Mahi mahi lends itself to almost all cooking methods, including grilling, poaching, broiling, pan-frying or baking. It pairs well with tropical ingredients such as lime, coconut milk, macadamia nuts, pineapple and other fruits, or with Asian notes such as teriyaki, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, etc.



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