In case you're at a fan of quality seafood, you've most likely eaten mahi-mahi already. There's even a good chance you may have ordered it under a completely different name, and haven’t even realized. It's a fish of many names, and even more culinary uses, but what exactly is mahi-mahi?
What is Mahi Mahi?
The word mahi-mahi comes from the Hawaiian name for the fish, which means "strong strong." With a name like that, you can guess that it has outrun more than a few fishing boats in its time. This powerful fish, mahi mahi quickly and deftly swims through all the warm waters of the world, from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. They sport a range of colors — bright blues, greens, and yellows, making them especially popular trophies for game fishermen.
Mahi-mahi has become very prevalent in seafood restaurants lately for its versatility. A deep-water fish adapted for fast swimming, the mahi-mahi has firm white flesh but a very mild flavor. These factors allow you to make almost any dish imaginable with mahi-mahi at home. Moreover, it's hearty enough to be grilled to perfection. However, if you wanted to go in the opposite direction, you can even have it ceviche-style. You can sear it with salt, pepper, and lime or glaze it with citrus and lemongrass. It's perfect for fish tacos, too.
Mahi Mahi Nutrition
Eating mahi mahi benefits your health by contributing to your daily protein intake. Each 3-ounce serving of the fish provides 20.2 grams of protein, which your body uses to maintain your tissues. Mahi mahi is a source of protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids you need to survive. It’s good to eat mahi mahi on a regular basis to help you reach your target protein intake -- 0.4 grams per pound of body weight.
Adding mahi mahi to your diet helps increase your iron intake. Iron helps your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, so your tissues have a steady supply of fresh oxygen to support their day-to-day functioning. Furthermore, mahi mahi contains heme iron, a form of iron readily absorbed by your body. A 3-ounce serving of mahi mahi provides 1.2 milligrams, which is 15 percent of the daily requirement for men and approximately 7 percent for women.
Mahi mahi also serves as a source of essential vitamins for the body. The fish contains several B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. It provides a particularly rich source of niacin, or vitamin B-3. For instance, each 3-ounce serving contains 45 percent of the recommended daily intake for women or 39 percent for men. Your body needs B vitamins to support your metabolism, and these nutrients also help nourish your skin and liver.
Healthy Cooking Tips
Mahi mahi’s firm texture stands up well to baking and grilling. You can simply season it with pepper and cook until the fish flakes easily. Add more flavor to your mahi mahi using healthy ingredients. Try combining chopped mango or pineapple with jalapeno and cilantro for a spicy and sweet salsa, or serve your fish on a bed of kale steamed with lemon juice and olive oil. You can also enjoy the fish cold. To get that, try using leftover flaked mahi mahi as a protein-packed topping for salad.
Mahi-mahi is a remarkable fish and an amazing sight to see when fishing. Now readily available at fish markets, it's easy to purchase a fillet and cook it almost any way you can think of. Give it a try next time you're at your local fish market. It'll be delicious no matter what you call it, and it’s one of the most eco-friendly things you can buy at the grocery store.