If you have ever been fishing in the tropics you have probably eaten Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. They are extremely fun fish to catch, and both taste great. But what are the differences between Wahoo vs. Mahi Mahi taste?
Wahoo tastes mild with a neutral flavor that is great for seasoning. Mahi Mahi has a slightly sweeter flavor than Wahoo and is not as firm. Wahoo flakes into large circular flakes while Mahi Mahi flakes into smaller more moist flakes.
Want to learn more about the differences between Wahoo vs. Mahi Mahi taste? Keep reading for a more in-depth comparison.
Wahoo Flavor Profile
It has considerably less red muscle meat when compared to their mackerel cousins and when raw is also lighter in color. It is pale-pink in color but when cooked it turns white. Wahoo is delicious to eat and is often compared to Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish. It’s milder tasting than bonito or albacore tuna.
Fat Calories: 15
Total Fat: 9.4 g
Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 64 mg
Sodium: 78 mg
Protein: 19.3 g
Omega 3: N/A
Mahi Mahi Flavor Profile
Mahi Mahi meat is firmer in texture but not quite steak-like, it has large moist flakes and if you are seeking a milder flavor you can trim off the darker portions of meat that run along the lateral lines. It’s much softer than other pelagic fish such as sailfish or Giant Trevally.
Author Note: Mahi Mahi is hands down one of the best-eating fish around and has flavors similar to that of the Cobia or Redfish.
Fat Calories: 10
Total Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 80 mg
Sodium: 100 mg
Protein: 22 g
Omega 3: 0.11 g
Why Both Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are Tasty
Game fish in general are eating machines. They spend their lives constantly chasing their next meal. Fighting currents is the norm which results in a lean, healthy, and extremely strong type of fish.
The Wahoo and Mahi Mahi have powerful and capable hunting abilities. They have carnivorous feeding habits and swim in active pursuit of prey. To discover why this lean meat is so delicious we need to look at not just their hunting, but also their eating habits.
Wahoo feed on some common baitfish that include halfbeak, gurnard, squid, flying fish, and more. Their diet varies based on where they live and how large they are.
Mahi Mahi have been known to feed on zooplankton but generally feed on mackerel, squid, flying fish, crabs, shrimp, and other baitfish.
Handling Your Catch
It is important to treat your catch with the respect it deserves – here are a few simple tips to ensure maximum quality and freshness:
1) Ensure your filleting knife is sharp.
2) Have a sharpening stone on hand.
3) Sharpen your knife after every four to five cuts.
4) Always make sure that your hands are clean and have warm soapy water available at all times.
5) Ensure your working surface is clean and flat.
6) Never fillet your catch directly in the sun.
7) Have a brine mixture with ice ready to store your fish when done.
How to Fillet Wahoo
Author Note: When filleting Wahoo the first cuts should always be made with the tip of the knife, this gives you greater control for the precision cuts.
Step 1: Make a large cut that runs from the anal (belly) fin all the way up to the gill plates or base of the head.
Step 2: Insert the knife immediately behind the bone and cut back towards the belly to meet the initial cut, holding the pectoral fin of the fish with one hand will offer some stability.
Step 3: Extend the cut to the back of the fish while still holding the pectoral fin.
Step 4: Extend the belly cut along one side of the anal (belly) fin by cutting approximately one inch deep using the tip of the knife.
Step 5: Push the knife through the body (base) of the tail and finish the cut freeing the tail end of the fillet.
Step 6: After turning the fish over, cut the entire length of fish along one side of the dorsal fin, using the same inch-deep cutting method.
Step 7: Using the blade of the knife, deepen all the cuts and free the fillet with the exception of the rib cage from the carcass.
Step 8: Slice through the bones of the rib cage.
Step 9: One fillet is done; now repeat the filleting process for the other side of the fish.
Step 10: Once the rib cage has been cut out and discarded, cut near and to one side of the centerline of the fillet along its length, separating it into two pieces. Set aside the piece without the darker center-line (bloodline) flesh.
Step 11: By cutting along its other margin, separate the blood flesh line flesh from the remaining piece, and discard the bloodline.
Step 12: Remove the skin of the fish by slicing vertically through the strips at approximately 12-inch lengths, then turning the knife sideways to cut-scrape between the skin and flesh.
Step 13: Remove any additional red flesh off the fillets and discard it.
Step 14: The finished fillets are now ready to be cut cross-section into steak-like pieces for cooking.
How to Fillet Mahi-Mahi
Mahi-Mahi is extremely easy to fillet when compared to the Wahoo and this simple technique can be mastered easily. Again it is important to make the initial cuts with the tip of the knife for additional stability.
Step 1: Make a cut behind the head, run the cut from the top of the head, and follow the contours of the skull until you reach the pectoral fin.
Step 2: Make a cut at the base of the tail, this cut needs to be relatively deep and should go all the way down to the spine of the fish.
Step 3: Work the knife back gently along the body to free the first fillet.
Step 4: Turn the fish over and repeat.
Author Note: In some parts of the world, the skin is removed before filleting. This can be done by gently cutting the skin around the outline of the fish and then gently pulling the skin away from the flesh. If the incisions are too deep some flesh may come off with the skin.
It may be necessary to trim any remaining dark meat regardless of which method is used to remove the skin.
Pan-Seared Wahoo or Mahi-Mahi
Here is a simple recipe that can be used for both types of these delicious game fish.
Olive oil: 22 ml ( 1â„2 tablespoons)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Unsalted butter: 7g (½ tablespoon)
First off, brush the fillets lightly with olive oil.
Once the fillets have been coated with oil, set them on a plate and drizzle with about half a tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure that the fillets have been coated with enough oil so that they do not stick to the pan.
- You’re not done with the oil yet- you’re going to need it for the pan later
- Remember! You should ensure your hands are washed after you handle the raw fish.
You can now season the fillets with salt and pepper- according to your tastes. A pinch of both should be good. The trick to perfectly seasoned fish is to ensure that they are evenly seasoned on both sides. To do this, sprinkle on each side and flip the fillets in the oil and seasoning.
Remember, you don’t need to stop at salt and pepper. You can use an array of spices and herbs- according to your tastes. Paprika, garlic, thyme, and red pepper are all popular herbs and spices.
Now that your fish fillets are prepared, you can cook them – and better yet, enjoy them.
A non-stick skillet is excellent for frying fish. Simply heat your skillet and olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) over a medium to high setting. As the oil begins to heat, you’ll notice bubbles rise to the surface. As the bubbles begin to ripple across the surface, you know it’s ready for the fillets.
Place the fillets in the pan and cover. If the fillets still have their skin, place it so that the meat is faced toward the pan.
Let the fillets cook for approximately 4 minutes. Obviously, this will vary according to fillet size. Flip the fillet onto the other side and allow it to cook with the lid on. When you are flipping the fish, make sure you only do one at a time- and don’t flip the fish too early or it is bound to fall apart.
Extra Cooking Tips
- For extra creamy flavor, melt butter over the fillets before serving.
- Use parsley and lemon for garnish.
- Plate the fillets as soon as they are ready, and serve while they are still hot.
- Like most fish that have a low-fat content, the best cooking methods are those that don’t dry out the fish. If you don’t want to fry your fillets, you can marinate them and either grill or broil them. Marinating your fillets helps to tenderize them and bring out the best of the fish’s flavor.