1. Mahi mahi, 2. Tuna, 3. Swordfish, 4. Barramundi, 5. Sea Bream, 6. Mackerel, 7. Grouper, 8. Snapper, 9. Wahoo, 10. Flounder. Tropical fish are renowned for the tastes and textures they offer to the table and dwell in warmer seas across the world. Most are simple to make and flexible, allowing you to serve them with a variety of side dishes. Maybe sometimes trying new foods from other locations is all you need to brighten your day. And here are the most delicious types of tropical fish that you should try.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit Hawaii, you’ve most likely had locally produced mahi mahi. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, the bulk of what is marketed in the United States originates from the neighboring Pacific Ocean, however, some is fished in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, or the Caribbean. As a result, mahi mahi is a more sustainable seafood option; it is a hardy species with no worrying population estimates.
Now that you’re comfortable eating them, the following step is to prepare your mahi in the kitchen. Although some fish can weigh up to 50 pounds, the majority of mahi mahi are about 5 pounds in size (via Seafoodsource). Remove the thick skin to expose the lean pinkish flesh beneath. It becomes white when cooked, and the consistency stays juicy and flaky whether you grill, fry, sauté, or broil it. Our easy-baked mahi mahi dish is ready in half an hour for a quick meal. With a mango bell pepper salsa and a citrus cilantro dressing, you might as well be in Hawaii with this meal.
A tuna salad sandwich might have been your first encounter with seafood. However, tuna is much more than just canned tuna. It’s a key participant in the fish market, according to American Oceans, and it comes in a variety of varieties. To mention a few, blue, black, and yellowfin tuna, as well as large eye, albacore, and skipjack (often used in cans), are available. Although you should avoid bluefin tuna since it is on the verge of extinction, other commercial species are protected from overfishing, making them a sustainable seafood alternative.
Yellowfin and large-eye tuna are frequently mislabeled as ahi at fish markets. These tropical fish, sold as steaks, are a long cry from tuna salad. When cooking tuna, your main priority should be to keep it from drying out. For the best results, sear each side for about one minute over high heat. The center will remain pink, but that is what sets it apart from regular skipjack in a can. It also provides each mouthful with an unmatched melt-in-your-mouth quality. Season the tuna to infuse it with a variety of tastes; it goes well with a blackened spice rub, or for the ultimate feast, try a sesame-crusted tuna steak with soy sauce.
A whole swordfish, so named because of its long, pointed beak, is a striking sight. Apart from the potentially dangerous swords, these fish can grow to be quite large, measuring more than 10 feet long (and up to 15) and weighing up to 650 pounds, according to Oceana. Because of their big size, swordfish have greater mercury contents in their muscular tissue, according to the outlet. You should avoid drinking it more than once a week to stay within the safe toxin levels, and you should rethink if the amounts are intolerable. Greenpeace believes that the most reliable supplies of swordfish are in the waters surrounding California, Oregon, and Hawaii.
This Australian and Indo-Pacific fish is not yet widely available in the United States, but it is only a matter of time. In an industry plagued by overfishing, barramundi may be farmed responsibly without the use of antibiotics or hormones to increase the population. Not to mention that barramundi (also known as Asian sea bass) is tasty and simple to make, whether fried, grilled, baked, barbecued, or steamed. If you’re the kind to air out your kitchen after a salmon supper, you’ll be relieved to hear that the aroma is light and won’t remain. Its meaty texture stands up to a variety of cooking ways, and its delicate flavor makes it ideal for seafood newbies and anybody looking to experiment with new items.
Try marinating it or serving it with a flavorful side dish. Meanwhile, grilled barramundi lends itself nicely to lemon and herb spice, and salty Asian sauces go well with it. Cooking the whole thing, unlike other fish, isn’t difficult; cover it in a lemon butter sauce with capers and bake it until the middle is firm and white.
The more you learn about fish, the more you discover how many species have the same names. Not all sea bream reside in tropical seas; some can be found in the Mediterranean and elsewhere in Europe. These fish are usually flat with mildly flaky, juicy white flesh. The flavor of seabream is pretty neutral, making it a good canvas for additional components, though you’ll want to avoid overdoing the mildly sweet flavor.
Sea bream is popular on menus all throughout the world, whether grilled whole, baked, steamed, or fried. Gordon Ramsay uses a salt coating to ensure taste and keep the delicate fish from drying out while baking. Follow his instructions and load the entire fish with lemon slices before placing it on a bed of salt and covering it with additional salt. After removing the baked sea bream from its crispy salt shell, serve it with braised leeks and hazelnuts or your choice of side for a spectacular display worthy of a fine dining establishment.
If you enjoy oily fish, mackerel is an obvious choice. Its oily quality is partly to blame for its health advantages, which include high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids (via Great British Chefs). Cero mackerel is a kind of mackerel that is typically found in coral reefs in the warm seas near Florida and the Gulf of Mexico (via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).
It’s a flavor-forward fish, so if you don’t like strong flavors or like your side dish or sauce to stand out, you might want to pass on this choice. Having said that, mackerel may be prepared in a variety of ways, so you could discover one you like. Some techniques include grilling, baking, frying, and pickling, and it is also often used in pâtés, fishcakes, burgers, and relished raw sashimi style. Because of its high-fat content, mackerel may even be smoked without drying out.
Grouper is constantly on the menu in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). According to NOAA Fisheries, red grouper is one of the most prevalent varieties harvested locally, and it maintains appropriate levels of fishing, making it a sustainable choice. You’ll be happy with this member of the seabass family whether you travel to Florida or simply pick it up at your neighborhood fishmonger. Before you go shopping, keep in mind that the FDACS advises consumers that less reputable sellers may substitute grouper with cheaper fish because it skews toward the pricier end of the range. If the bargain appears to be too good to be true, it most likely isn’t grouper.
The delicate flavor, lean flesh, and flaky consistency are simple to enjoy, and it’s fair to compare it to chicken. According to Finn’s Fishing Tips, grouper has a taste in between halibut and bass. You can cook grouper in a variety of ways, including pan-frying, grilling, poaching, sautéing, baking, and steaming. It’s also typically breaded and fried to make a delicious fish sandwich, burger, or fish and chips combo. Grouper cooks quickly, so keep an eye on it and take it off the fire when the flesh is opaque and flaky.
It’s a simple fish to like because of its gently sweet flavor, low-fat content, and moist texture. If you enjoy eating fish that doesn’t have excessively fishy flavors, red snapper is a good choice. It cooks the best whole, but you may also get it in fillets for ease of preparation. For a wonderful evening supper that’s ready in 20 minutes, try a panko-crusted red snapper dish. Alternatively, a basic snapper Crudo allows you to experience the fish’s natural qualities.
This is a tasty fish, whether you call it by its festive-sounding name wahoo, or by its Hawaiian name ono. Wahoo is an all-around solid choice, thanks to its decent sustainability rating as verified by NOAA Fisheries. However, you won’t be able to obtain fresh ono all year; the Pacific’s main harvest season is from summer to fall. Because of its high mercury level, it is suggested that you restrict your use in any circumstances.
It’s vital to remember that wahoo is a very lean fish in the cooking. While this results in a pleasantly mild flavor that invites other flavors, it also means that if overdone, it risks drying out. The outcome is juicy and flaky when quickly grilled, broiled, poached, or pan-fried. Seafood Source compares it to tuna in terms of cooking time and flavor profile and advises seasoning it with a marinade. Some excellent possibilities are a classic lemon dressing or an Asian ginger soy dressing.
As it turns out, flounder is a wide group of flatfish (called for their look) that includes fluke and sole. According to National Geographic, many species prefer to live in warm tropical seas. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, most face little to no overfishing and are considered a sustainable food option.
These odd-looking fish have soft, pleasantly sweet meat that demands some care in the cooking. Depending on your comfort level, buy it whole or in fillets and cook it in the oven, steamed, or sautéed. A mild breading or flour coating before cooking should give effective results in making it less brittle. Finish with a lemon butter sauce to highlight its delicate taste and lean texture.