What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Hearing about Mahi Mahi for the first time? Mahi Mahi is one of the most popular fish around the world, often called a dolphinfish, but it is not a dolphin. People all around the world enjoy having Mahi Mahi for its delectable taste. But are you on the lookout for what Mahi Mahi tastes like? Let’s help you out with this. 

mahi mahi

Mahi Mahi is a firm and lean whitefish having a tough and inedible skin that has a distinct sweet and moderately mild flavor. Due to the quality of its skin type, the skin of Mahi Mahi is left on for ease of cooking. This incredible type of fish is popularly grilled or baked as it doesn’t smell too fishy but offers a great flavor. 

The semi-sweet taste of Mahi Mahi makes it an excellent choice for a variety of dishes and seasonings. Additionally, its availability isn’t restricted to a particular season. Let’s find out more about what Mahi Mahi tastes like in different forms, its uses, and its nutritional profile. 

What Is Mahi Mahi?

mahi mahi

Mahi Mahi is scientifically known as Coryphaena hippurus. It is also called dorado, meaning gold in Spanish. It is an aptly descriptive name based on the beautiful gold and green flash of its scales.

Mahi Mahi is a small saltwater fish that grows anywhere from three to six feet long and weighs approximately 30 pounds. It enjoys the warm waters of the South Pacific, Mediterranean, and the Caribbean, though it is also found in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Mahi Mahi has a short life cycle of four to five years, and it’s typically not overfished either commercially or recreationally. The name Mahi Mahi comes from a Hawaiian word that means strong. True to its name, Mahi Mahi is a powerful swimmer.

Mahi-mahi is easy to identify because of its bright color and unique shape that comprises a distinctively humped-shaped head. While the sides of their bodies are golden colored, with the back colors ranging from blue to green. It also has metallic hues. Their pectoral fins are colored iridescent blue. 

While you can purchase them whole to filet at home, pre-cut fresh or frozen steaks are more common to find in the market. The price of Mahi Mahi varies with the season, but it is a reasonably priced fish as compared to the others.

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What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like?

The taste profile of Mahi Mahi is one of the best of any fish. It has a mild and sweet-tasting flesh that looks pinkish but turns white as it cooks. Its texture is rather complex. While the skin is compact, lean, and firm, it is also delicate, moist, and flavorful. 

The flesh of Mahi Mahi is often compared to that of tuna. However, when cooked, some people point out that its taste resembles salmon. Due to its subtle taste profile, mahi-mahi makes for a versatile ingredient. 

The taste of edible goods is defined by their freshness. Thus, if we go by this logic, the fresh availability of Mahi Mahi is subject to certain months. These are March-May and September- October. But you can also savor mahi-mahi’s taste using its frozen cuts all year round. This incredible-tasting fish can be served in many ways. Read on further to know more about it. 

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Good?

Mahi Mahi

When a name sounds exotic, you can only imagine what the taste of such a thing could be. But some people may be unsure about the taste profile of Mahi Mahi due to it being classified in the dolphinfish category. On the contrary, mahi-mahi is a sumptuous treat, having a mild and sweet taste profile.

That said, the taste of Mahi Mahi depends largely on the method of cooking and the use of spices and seasonings. However, the end result is always delicious and nutritious.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like Meat?

When using Mahi Mahi, you experience something different than other fish varieties. Due to its faint taste profile and the texture of lean meat, some people may relate the taste of Mahi Mahi to meat. This factor makes Mahi Mahi a good substitute option for meat. However, the taste profile of fish depends on several factors. These include the season, the region it comes from, and the age of the fish.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Fishy?

mahi mahi grilled

Mahi-mahi has a distinctive flavor, which is not often called fishy. It has a subtle sweet undertone. That said, the taste profile of fish also depends on its maturity. In comparison to younger ones, mature fish generally have a stronger taste. Thus, the taste of Mahi Mahi depends upon its freshness, age, and the way it is cooked.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like Cod?

Cod and Mahi Mahi are popular fish varieties that everyone loves to cook with. But when deciding for your next meal, you may wonder, what is the taste difference between cod and Mahi Mahi?

Firstly, cod and mahi-mahi are different species of fish. They differ in terms of length and weight. Cod is a cold-water fish, whereas mahi-mahi is a tropical water fish. In terms of texture, cod has a delicate and flaky texture. It tastes milder and less fishy than Mahi Mahi. Additionally, Mahi Mahi costs more than cod.

Is Mahi Mahi Better Than Salmon?

For those who don’t enjoy the distinctive fishy taste of fish but still want to derive its nutritional value, Mahi Mahi is a better choice for them as compared to salmon.

Mahi Mahi does not have an overpowering flavor like salmon. Another reason which may make you want to choose Mahi Mahi over salmon is the difference in their fat content. Salmon is an oily fish that provides a rich and fatty flavor. Whereas Mahi Mahi is low in fat content and has sweet undertones. That said, both can be prepared in the same way. 

But the two also differ in their color. While mahi-mahi comes in light pink to white color profiles, salmon is orange in color.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like Steak?

mahi mahi

Some people might assume the taste of Mahi Mahi is similar to that of a steak due to its thick and slightly firm texture. However, Mahi Mahi does not taste like steak. It has mild with sweet undertones. But you can make it taste like steak if cooked with some particular seasonings.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like Tuna?

Tuna and Mahi Mahi are different species from different families. Tuna is a member of the mackerel family. It is mostly found in the open ocean, while Mahi Mahi sticks to shallower waters near the coast. This fatty fish has firm flesh that provides a meaty texture as compared to mahi-mahi. When cooked, it gives a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth quality.

However, in terms of their taste profile, tuna is more robust in flavor than the mild to sweet-tasting Mahi Mahi.

Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like Swordfish?

One creature of the sea that stands out in the crowd is certainly the swordfish because of its long beak. It offers a dense, moist texture which is often compared to beef steak. It is mostly served as a steak. However, when compared to Mahi Mahi, tuna tends to have a significantly stronger flavor.

What Does Grilled Mahi Mahi Taste Like?

If you are looking for delicate flavors in your fish dish, then grilled Mahi Mahi will surely impress you. It is a lean, high-protein, tender, and light fish that is incredibly easy to make. Because of its mild-tasting quality, Mahi Mahi pairs deliciously well with other flavors. It also makes for one of those foods that take on the smoky flavor from the grill.

Mahi Mahi is often sold without skin. But if you have filets with the skin intact, it can make the grilling easy. You can grill the fish skin-side down. The skin can easily be removed once the filets are cooked. 

What Does Fried Mahi Mahi Taste Like?

fried mahi mahi

There is no second guessing when it comes to the taste of fried items, the crunch and the elevated flavors of such foods make you ask for more. And in the case of Mahi Mahi, this fact does wonders.

Fried mahi-mahi has a crunchy and crispy crust that surrounds its tender fish filet to create a beautiful texture contrast. While its own taste is slightly sweet, you pair it with the creamy lemon sriracha sauce for an unforgettable combination of deliciousness. 

What Does Blackened Mahi Mahi Taste Like?

“Blackening” a fish means to quickly sear it on either side by frying it at a high heat that creates a crispy outer layer in contrast to the flaky inside. It’s delicious, quick, and easy! But another major factor that helps create blackened Mahi Mahi is the seasoning. When blackened, Mahi Mahi tastes spicier because of the paprika, pepper, and cayenne pepper. To put it simply, blackened mahi-mahi turns out to be smoky and spicy in taste.

How To Cook Mahi Mahi?

grilled mahi mahi

With all the above information, I’m sure you are excited enough to try Mahi Mahi at home. It is a versatile fish having subtle flavors that make it a great addition to many recipes and different cooking styles. With its lean texture, Mahi Mahi takes only a few minutes to cook. Let’s take a look at the steps to ensure you have a great end result with Mahi Mahi. Here’s what to do:

The Basics:

  1. Skin The Mahi Mahi:

Unlike trout or salmon, the skin on a mahi-mahi filet is tough and inedible. So, while buying Mahi Mahi, you can take filets that are skinned. That said, it doesn’t mean that unskinned filets of Mahi Mahi will turn out to be a problem. In some cooking methods, such as grilling, Mahi Mahi with its skin on can help you keep the filets intact. It can later be removed easily. So, the choice of filets depends on the cooking style.

  1. Remove The Bones:

When cutting Mahi Mahi portions, carefully remove the bones. Feel along the filets with your finger to spot the bones. You can gently pull them out with tweezers. However, when baking a whole filet, it’s easier to remove the bones from the cooked fish.

  1. Remove The Bloodline:

A red line down the middle of the filet is called the bloodline (not to be confused with the family bloodline). Although it is perfectly safe to eat the bloodline, it will have a stronger fishy taste compared to the rest of the fish. So, in the case of Mahi Mahi, remove the bloodline by cutting it out with a sharp knife.

Frozen Mahi-Mahi

There are times when you may not have access to fresh Mahi Mahi. In that case, you can check for frozen Mahi Mahi in the market. While using this option for cooking, follow the method below to easily remove the skin from a frozen Mahi Mahi.

  1. Rinse the frozen Mahi Mahi with cold water for about 1 minute.
  2. Loosen the Mahi Mahi skin on the head side.
  3. For a good grip, use clean towels and pull the loosened skin towards the tail side while holding down the filet.
  4. The skin should peel right off!
  5. Rinse the skinless fish filet once again with cold water and thaw it in the refrigerator for about a day.
  6. After the Mahi Mahi has properly thawed, you can cut it down to desired cooking pieces.
  7. You may remove the middle blood vein of the fish if desired.
  8. Cut the smaller section into cube pieces and the larger section into filets at an angle.

Cooking Styles:

Mahi Mahi can be cooked in several ways, and you can be sure to look at a delicious meal. Without much ado, let’s take a look at the different cooking techniques. 

Grilled Mahi Mahi

  1. To grill Mahi Mahi, lightly brush a hot grill with oil to prevent the fish from sticking.
  2. Cook the fish for 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Avoid flipping it too much to save it from falling apart. 
  4. You’ll know the fish is done when it turns pinkish-white in color from translucent to opaque.

Baked Mahi Mahi

  1. Begin by preheating the oven at 400 F and place parchment paper or grease the baking dish to save the fish from sticking onto it.
  2. Debone the fish.
  3. Prepare your desired seasoning mix. We recommend melting some butter along with minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped chives, salt, and pepper. Pour this mixture onto the fish in your baking dish.
  4. Bake the fish for 12 to 16 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets.

Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi

  1. Take out your fish filets and cut them into the desired portion size.
  2. Pat dry any excess moisture from the fish.
  3. Add some oil to the pan and add your fish filets. 
  4. Let the filets sit on the pan for 2-3 minutes, and add in your desired flavor sauce. 
  5. If you are unsure of what to flavor your fish with, we recommend going for a simple lemon garlic sauce. 
  6. To make the sauce add a good amount of chopped garlic, some lemon juice, zest, herbs into butter and give it a good mix.
  7. Pour the sauce over the fish on the pan.

Fried Mahi Mahi

  1. Cut the fish into the desired portion size. Generally, lengthy strips give the best results for fried mahi-mahi.
  2. Prepare the dipping batter. You can make breadcrumbs, Mexican seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix them to combine. Then, crack one egg or more (depending on the quantity of fish) in a second bowl, and whisk until the yolk combines with the white. Add flour to a third bowl and place it with the other two bowls.
  3. Now, pat the Mahi Mahi strips with a paper towel to make sure they’re dry. 
  4. Coat each strip of the fish with flour on both sides and dip it in the egg. Finish up the process by folding it in the bowl of breadcrumbs, making sure it’s covered fully on each side.
  5. Repeat the process above for the rest of the filets and set them on a plate.
  6. Once the fish is folded in all the batters, it’s time to fry it.
  7.  Heat enough oil over medium-high heat to cover the filets in a deep frying pan. 
  8. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until they’re nicely golden brown. Serve with a dip.

What Seasonings Work Well With Mahi Mahi?

raw mahi mahi

Mahi Mahi absorbs flavors well. This makes it a versatile ingredient that goes well with bread, pasta, rice, and veggies. But it’s the herbs and seasonings that lend a delectable taste. Some of the herbs and seasonings that go very well with Mahi Mahi include garlic powder, pepper, dried thyme, parsley, onion powder, oregano, cumin, cajun, and smoked paprika.

To bring to life the tasty flavors of Mahi Mahi, you can also use pre-made Mexican and Italian seasonings. Additionally, while cooking Mahi Mahi you can add sauces and dressings for a punch of flavors like ginger-lime, roasted pepper, sundried tomatoes, brown butter, and butter garlic.

How To Check if Mahi Mahi Is Fresh?

raw mahi mahi

If you’re wondering whether your mahi-mahi is good and fresh, you’ll want to start by taking a close look at it and giving it a sniff. You’ve probably heard that fish shouldn’t have a fishy smell, but what are the characteristics of fresh fish? Let’s find out:

1. Check the label

Determining the freshness of fish starts with its packaging. Thus, take a good look at the date of packaging and the details for its best use. Additionally, you should also check where the fish has come from for a better understanding of its handling and storage.

2. Storage

When it comes to fish, meat, poultry, or dairy products, their storage is of utmost importance. In the case of fish, a good fish casing should have a high-quality flake ice to keep the fish cold. Also, the good-smelling quality of air in the seafood section ensures good produce.

3. Characteristics of a good fish

Now we finally come to check the fish for its quality check. When choosing fish, look out for the following factors:

Whole Fish

  1. Always look out for clear eyes. 
  2. The flesh of the fish should be firm and spring back when pressed. 
  3. Check to see if the scales are intact and shiny. The color of Mahi Mahi can range from silver to dark gray. You can also notice some small black spots and golden streaks.
  4. Avoid fish that have dull color or dark brown areas, especially along the edges. This may indicate the beginnings of spoilage or its age.
  5. Dark red bloodlines or spots are common to be found in this fish type. However, it should be trimmed before cooking for a milder flavor.
  6. A mild scent, especially in the case of Mahi Mahi is a good indicator of its quality of being fresh.

Skinned Fish

If the fish is skinless, its flesh should be freshly cut, cleanly skinned, and moist. When buying frozen fish, the flesh should be tightly sealed and frozen solid.

How To Keep Mahi Mahi Fresh? | Storage Tips

If you just bought a few files of Mahi Mahi, it’s important to store them properly as soon as you get home. This will prevent your fish from spoiling and maintain its quality. In the case of storing raw non-vegetarian items, freezing is the only method to maintain freshness.

1. Deep Freezer

  1. To store fresh or previously-frozen Mahi Mahi, wrap it tightly in an airtight plastic bag. 
  2. Then place it in the deep freezer.
  3. Do not open the bag until ready to use. 
  4. Mahi Mahi freezes well for several months if properly packaged.

2. Refrigerator

If you are planning to use freshly sourced Mahi Mahi for immediate consumption, then you skip placing it in the deep freezer. Make sure to store it at a temperature of around 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator. Avoid opening it until you’re ready to cook it.

Health Benefits Of Mahi Mahi

There are many tropical fish that land on the plates of seafood consumers. And some of the popular ones include Tuna, Cod, and Swordfish. Yet many people have concerns regarding the presence of mercury content in them. 

But Mahi Mahi is a powerhouse of health that is also mercury safe and makes for a delectable feast. Below are some of the health benefits that make this fish a good choice for you.

1. A great source of Omega-3 

Omega-3 fatty acids are the top recommendations of all health enthusiasts. And Mahi Mahi is a fish that is packed with these popular fatty acids. Omega-3 present in Mahi Mahi helps fight inflammation and protect against a range of long-term health problems.

2. High in Protein and Low in Calories

Like other types of fish, Mahi Mahi is packed with proteins, especially lean. It is also relatively low in calories. The positive effects of proteins found in Mahi Mahi include muscle growth, maintenance of a healthy weight and cognitive function, and more. 

3. Full Of Essential Vitamins And Nutrients

Mahi Mahi is known to contain some very essential vitamins and nutrients that can help us stay healthy in life. It is an excellent source of vitamin B, potassium, and selenium. These vitamins help maintain healthy skin, heart, and muscle function and boost immune functions.

Is Mahi Mahi Healthy For You?

With the above-mentioned health benefits, it is clear that adding Mahi Mahi to your diet can have a healthy impact on your health in both the short and long term. Adding this delicious fish can help you fight inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, maintain healthy cell and nerve functions, and also keep the symptoms of aging at bay!

Nutritional Content Of Mahi Mahi

To summarize it for you, Mahi Mahi is the leanest fish variety as compared to fattier fish like salmon and sardines. However, it contains some healthy, anti-inflammatory fatty acids that turn out to be beneficial for you. 

As compared to other fish varieties, there are only one to two grams of total fat in Mahi Mahi. Some of the reasons why experts consider it to be one of the best fish to eat is because of its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids and other vital vitamins and nutrients. Additionally, mahi-mahi also contains iron, magnesium, and other essential minerals.

NutrientsAmount approximately 85 grams of cooked Mahi Mahi
Proteins20.2 g
Fat0.8 g
Selenium (57 percent DV)39.8 micrograms
Niacin (32 percent DV)6.3 milligrams
Vitamin B6 (20 percent DV)0.4 milligrams
Phosphorus (16 percent DV)156 milligrams
Potassium (13 percent DV)453 milligrams
Vitamin B12 (10 percent DV)0.6 micrograms
Magnesium (8 percent DV)32.3 milligrams
Pantothenic acid (7 percent DV)0.7 milligrams
Iron 7 percent DV)1.2 milligrams


In comparison to other fish varieties available in the market, Mahi Mahi has an appetizing sweet taste that makes it a popular fish around the world. Aside from its taste profile, it’s quite easy to prepare mahi-mahi. 

One major factor that makes Mahi Mahi stand out in the crowd is the fact that it doesn’t have high mercury content. To sum it up, Mahi Mahi is delicious and nutritious seafood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is so unique about Mahi Mahi?

There are two qualities that make Mahi Mahi unique. Firstly, it is a species of fish that grows rapidly. This makes mahi-mahi a seafood available round the year. Secondly, its taste profile is so subtle that it pairs well with most of the spices and seasonings.

Is it difficult to cook Mahi Mahi?

Mahi Mahi is a lean, firm whitefish that is quick and easy to cook.

Is Mahi Mahi nutritional?

Mahi-mahi boosts many health benefits as it is rich in vital vitamins and minerals, and fatty acids like Omega-3.

What is the texture of Mahi Mahi?

Mahi Mahi has a moderately firm texture and large, moist flakes. Its skin is thick. Fresh Mahi Mahi has translucent pinkish flesh and a bright red bloodline.

Is Mahi Mahi a dolphin?

Mahi Mahi is often called the dolphinfish, which leads some to assume that it is a dolphin. However, it is not so. It is a colorful fish with a long body.

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