Mahi mahi is Hawaiian for “strong strong,” an apt name for this sweet-flavored, firm-textured fish that can rapidly reach up to 6 feet in length and 70 pounds in weight thanks to its voracious appetite. This beautiful, wide-ranging fish swims in some of the world’s warmest waters, eating squid, mackerel, shrimp, crab and a variety of small fish (including small mahi mahi).

Long a favorite menu item in Florida and Hawaii, mahi mahi can now be found in restaurants throughout the country. Supplies are highly seasonal, however, peaking in January-February and picking up again during the summer. During El Niño years, the fish tend to stay further from shore, decreasing the number typically caught. Attempts to farm the fish have not yet met with any real success.

Availability: Seasonal

Origin: Wild; South America and Domestic

Texture and Flavor: Pinkish white, firm, lean, sweet large moist flakes

Cooking Methods: Grill, blacken, bake, saute

Substitutes: Amberjack, Wahoo