Mahi Mahi is often thought of as a Hawaiian fish, but it is also found in warm waters around Florida and along the Pacific Coast. It is sometimes called Dolphin fish or Dorado, but do not confuse it with dolphin, the mammal. Seen in the water, Mahi Mahi has a characteristic blunt head and striking blue-green and yellow scales. Its flesh is dense and moist, with a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Mahi mahi is a large fish; it is usually sold as fillets or steaks. It is available both fresh and frozen.

Buying and storing tips
Quality mahi mahi is easy to recognize. Fresh mahi mahi never smells fishy, and its flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape. When choosing mahi mahi steaks or fillets, whether they?re fresh or previously frozen, look for moist, translucent (never dried out) flesh. Keep mahi mahi cool on the trip from the market to your house. Never let it stay unrefrigerated for long.

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. Use lined freezer paper, and wrap fish tightly from head to tail with at least two layers of paper. To thaw slowly, unwrap, place in pan, cover, and leave for 24 hours in the refrigerator. To thaw more quickly, place the whole fish (wrapped in a watertight bag) in a sink with cool running water, allowing about 30 minutes per pound (450g). For fastest thawing, use the defrost cycle of your microwave, allowing 2 to 5 minutes per pound (450g), with equal standing time in between zaps (as one minute defrost to one minute resting).

Mahi mahi can be purchased year-round.

Preparation, uses, and tips
The secret to successful mahi mahi cookery is to not overcook. Whichever of the following cooking methods you choose, your mahi mahi will be cooked when its flesh becomes opaque but is still moist on the inside.


Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Place steaks or fillets in baking pan, brush with oil or butter, or cover with sauce made of liquid, herbs and spices, and vegetables. Bake in preheated oven at 400?F (200?C) until a knife slice in the thickest part reveals the flesh to be opaque but still moist.


Place steaks or fillets directly on greased grill, 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15cm) above prepared coals or fire. Baste with butter, oil, or marinade and close the hood of the grill. For a large fillet, place fish skin-side-down on foil. Cook until opaque and moist on the inside, about 6 to 8 minutes for fish less than 1-inch (about 2.5cm) thick, and 10 to 15 minutes for fish larger than 1-inch (about 2.5cm) thick.


Rinse mahi mahi fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Place fish on a rack above a baking dish. Preheat broiler and adjust oven rack so fish is 3 to 4 inches (about 7.6 to 10cm) from the element. Broil, turning once, until fish is opaque but still moist in the center, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.


Rinse mahi mahi, and pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge in flour and seasonings if desired. Shake off any excess flour. Heat frying pan until hot. Add butter or oil, place fillets in the pan, and cook, turning once, until opaque but still moist in the center?about 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.


Bring poaching liquid consisting of water, broth, herbs, and spices to a simmer. Slip in mahi mahi, then cover the pan and keep liquid at a simmer for about 8 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness.

Nutritional Highlights
Mahi mahi (cooked, dry heat), 3 oz. (84.9g)
Calories: 118
Protein: 25.5g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 1.0g
Fiber: 0.0g
*Excellent source of: Selenium (40mcg), Niacin (10mg), and Vitamin B6 (0.88mg)
*Good source of: Potassium (484mg)

*Foods that are an ?excellent source? of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a ?good source? of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

Health benefits and concerns
Health benefits and concerns for fish and seafood
Many health benefits and concerns associated with this food are applicable to other fish and seafood. Read about health benefits and concerns for fish and seafood for a full description.