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Seafood Species: Mahi Mahi

Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphin or dorado, are one of the most beautiful fish in the sea. Brilliantly colored with an iridescent bluish-green and gold body with 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 high forehead and the female's head slopes down to the mouth.

Mahi-mahi are among 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 offshore, near the surface, on small fish, shrimp, squid, and crabs. Mahi-mahi are commercially harvested by hook-and-line.

Mahi-mahi are an excellent food fish. The large-flaked, sweetly moist meat and roe of the female have exquisite flavor. Skinned mahi-mahi meat can be prepared by virtually any cooking method: broiling, baking, frying, smoking, grilling, steaming, or poaching. Care should be taken to avoid overcooking.

Mahi-mahi, when grilled, should have the skin left intact to prevent the meat from falling through the grill. One grilling method is to baste the fillets and roe with melted butter or margarine containing garlic and onion salt. The meat is ready when it flakes easily with a fork.

Keep mahi-mahi refrigerated at 32-38 degrees F. or store in a freezer at 0 degrees F. until ready to use. Thaw frozen mahi-mahi in the refrigerator or under cold running water.

Nutritional Information

Approximate nutritional values for 4 ounces (114 grams) of raw, edible portion: calories-- 90; calories from fat--5; total fat--1 gram; saturated fat--0 gram; cholesterol--85 milligrams; sodium--100 milligrams; carbohydrate-- 0 gram*; protein-- 22 grams; calcium-- 0% RDI**; iron-- 6% RDI.

* Dietary fiber and sugars exist in insignificant amounts in seafoods.
** RDI means Recommended Daily Intake.