What is mahi mahi, what are the best methods to cook it, where can you buy it, and what does it taste like? I have all of the answers for you! This is the ultimate guide for everything you could possibly want to know about this popular white fish!
What Is Mahi Mahi
Mahi mahi is a tropical and subtropical fish that is incredibly popular for eating. Technically, mahi mahi is the Hawaiian name for the fish, which is actually called a dolphin fish (because it swims alongside boats as dolphins do).
This fish is beautiful in appearance, with vibrant green, blue, and gold coloring! Typically, this fish weighs between 15 and 29 pounds, with some even being as large as 50 pounds!
🍲 How To Cook Mahi Mahi
Mahi mahi is an incredibly versatile fish that is commonly used in a ton of different dishes and recipes that span a wide variety of different cooking techniques!
It can be grilled, baked, pan-seared, skewered, steamed, or fried in batter! Unlike other types of fish, the skin is tough (even when cooked) and not something you want to eat.
No matter how you choose to cook your fish, make sure that you season it immediately before cooking as the seasoning will draw the moisture out and dry the fish out (cook within 3 minutes of seasoning). You'll know your mahi mahi is done cooking when the color turns an opaque pinkish-white color.
If you want to grill this fish, it is best to make sure that your grill is oiled to prevent it from sticking to the grates. You can also use a fish grilling basket or grilling tray to make grilling your fish easier (just remember to oil everything generously to prevent sticking).
You can leave the skin on while grilling to help hold it together and then remove it before serving, or you can simply grill it without the skin altogether.
You don't want to overcook this fish. In fact, it should only take 2-4 minutes per side to be fully cooked. Additionally, try to only flip it once to keep it from falling apart.
😋 What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like?
This tropical fish is mild with a slightly-sweet flavor. The meat is a translucent pink while raw that becomes more opaque and white as it cooks.
It is pretty lean and firm with no flakiness. However, it is extremely flavorful, delicate, and juicy! In terms of "fishiness", it is stronger than halibut, but not as fishy tasting as swordfish.
🔎 Mahi Mahi vs Halibut
Both fish species are frequently compared to one another due to the fact that they have very similar textures. However, there are many differences between the two.
Of course, the biggest question is whether these two fish taste the same.
Mahi mahi has a stronger, fishier taste than halibut although they are both mild and sweet. So it is safe to say that these fish do taste similar. From a textural standpoint, halibut is flakier although they are both firm.
Halibut is more nutritionally dense. While halibut does have a higher calorie count, it is overall healthier because it has a higher percentage of Omega-3s and B-vitamins. Of course, mahi mahi is still a perfectly healthy option.
In short, you can definitely use halibut as a substitution for mahi mahi and vice versa, however, halibut is more expensive.
🍽️ Best Mahi Mahi Recipes
This is such a popular fish due to its versatility in dishes as well as how easy it is to prepare! It can be cooked using a huge variety of different methods as well.
Additionally, this tasty fish pairs well with many different flavor profiles, whether it be sweet, spicy, or citrus!
💪 Is Mahi Mahi Good For Me?
Yes! This is a healthy and tasty fish option. It is low calore and high in essential vitamins and minerals. It is a great source of protein, calcium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, and selenium!
Mahi Mahi is also on the "good fish" list for having low levels of mercury.
🛒 Where To Buy Mahi Mahi
You can find both fresh and frozen fillets at your standard grocery store or supermarket. To find the freshest fillets available, check out your local fish markets!
In order to choose the best, freshest fish possible make sure to follow this quick list:
- Smell - It should never have a fishy smell. In fact, it should have a relatively neutral odor.
- Color - This fish is a pink color with red stripes or spots. Do not choose fillets that are dull in color or have brown spots or edges. If the edges are brown, it is beginning to spoil due to age.
- Skin - Make sure the skin of the fish is nice and shiny. Avoid meat if the skin is dry or lackluster.
Fresh mahi mahi can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you freeze your fresh fish, make sure to wrap it in freezer paper and place it in a heavy-duty freezer storage bag before storing for up to 3 months.
There is only one mahi mahi, but it is divided into Atlantic and Pacific. There is no real difference between the two besides geological location.
Additionally, there is one other species that is in the same genus of dolphin fish (Coryphaena). This species is called the pompano dolphin fish and, while they are edible, they are not profitable so are not typically harvested on purpose.
Now you know everything you need to know about this popular warm-water fish. Leave a comment down below and let me know your favorite way to enjoy some mahi mahi!
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📖 Recipe Card
What Is Mahi Mahi: Grilled Mahi Mahi Fish (+Cooking Tips & Recipes!)
- To get started, preheat your grill to medium-high heat (375-450°F / 191-232°C).
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Next, brush the mahi mahi fillets with olive oil on both sides. Then, season generously, making sure to get all sides of the fish.
- Grill your fish for 4-5 minutes per side, until it has a nice golden color.
- Once cooked, remove the mahi mahi from the grill and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.
- To keep your fish from sticking to the grill, it is important to brush your mahi mahi with oil. Also, wait until the fish naturally releases from the grill instead of trying to turn it too early.
- Fresh mahi mahi is the best option, but if you can't find it, then frozen fillets work too! Just make sure to let them thaw out in the fridge first.
- To store: Place your fish into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Make sure your cooked fish has fully cooled, and then place it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- To reheat: Reheat your fish by heating it over medium heat in a skillet or by placing it in a 350°F (177°C) oven until heated thoroughly.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!