The mahi-mahi (Cotyphaena hippurus), also known as dolphin or dorado, is one of the most beautiful fish in the sea; brilliantly colored with an iridescent bluish green and gold body, and golden yellow fins and tail. The mahi-mahi should not be confused with the mammal called dolphin. One distinguishing characteristic between mature males and females, the male has a very rounded head profile and the female’s head slopes down to the mouth.
One of the fastest swimming fish in the sea, they prefer the warmer tropical and subtropical waters of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Gulf Coast of Florida. Their spawning season extends from late spring through early summer. Mahi-mahi feed off shore, near the surface, on small fish, shrimp, squid, and crabs and are commercially harvested by hook-and-line.
Firm texture, light, sweetly moist meat with solid flake and moderate flavor. Extra lean fish.
Amberjack, Mullet, Pompano, Farm-raised Catfish, Grouper, Tuna.
HOW MUCH TO BUY
• Whole or drawn fish: 3/4 to 1 pound per serving.
• Dressed or cleaned fish: 1/2 pound per serving.
• Fillets or steaks: 1/4 to 1/3 pound per serving.
BUYING, STORAGE AND HANDLING
Remember to purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the trip home.
Fresh whole fish should have:
— A shiny surface with tightly adhering scales.
— Gills that are deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus and off-odor.
— Clean shiny belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones.
— A mild aroma, similar to the ocean.
Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have:
— A translucent look.
— Flesh that is firm and not separating.
— A mild odor, similar to the ocean.
— No discoloration.
— Packaging that keeps them from being bent in an unnatural position.
• Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.
• After handling raw seafood thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water.
• Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.
• Discard marinade; it contains raw juices which may harbor bacteria.
• When marinade is needed for basting reserve a portion before adding raw seafood.
• The general rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, at the thickest part of the fillet or steak, at 400-450 degrees F.
• If fish is cooked in parchment, foil or a sauce, add 5 minutes to the total cooking time.
• Fillets less than 1/2 inch thick do not need to be turned during cooking.
• Fish cooks quickly. Do not overcook.
• Fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
• Poaching, steaming, baking, broiling, sautéing, microwaving are excellent low-fat cooking methods, if you do not add high fat ingredients.
• Marinate in your favorite salad dressing prior to cooking.
• Broil, bake, steam or microwave, then cube and add to pasta or salad greens for a delicious salad.
• Broil or grill with lime-butter and seasoned salt.
• Oil the grill to prevent fish from sticking.
• Bake whole fish with a crab or shrimp stuffing.
• Add leftover fish in broken pieces to salads, soups or sauces.
Nutritional values for approximately 4 ounces (114 grams) of raw, edible portions
• Calories 100
• Calories From Fat 10
• Total Fat 1 g
• Saturated Fat 0 g
• Cholesterol 80 mg
• Sodium 100 mg
• Total Carbohydrates 0 g
• Protein 22 g
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services