Mahi mahi isn’t constantly available all year. Other times, it may be challenging to find in the local store. If your recipe calls for mahi mahi, you may need to use another fish. Therefore, let’s find out, what are mahi mahi substitutes?
The following are mahi mahi substitutes:
- Fresh Tuna
- Striped Bass
- White Sea Bass
- Rainbow Trout
This article will compare all the flavors, tastes, textures and more with mahi mahi. In addition, I’ll compare all their nutritional values. Other types of fish are substitutes, but this article will stick to the healthiest options.
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Mahi Mahi Substitutes: Nutritional Values
Mahi Mahi Substitutes: Nutritional Values (cont.)
The tables above list all the nutritional values for mahi mahi and the seven substitutes. For a few exceptions, most of the nutrients for the substitutes are similar to mahi mahi.
If you’re counting strict calories, the cod and halibut are close. If Omega-3s are important, all the substitutes except for the fresh tuna provide a large increase. mahi mahi contains more vitamin A than all of them except for the rainbow trout.
All the substitutes are good nutritional alternatives. Where one nutrient might be slightly lacking, it makes up for it with another nutrient.
If mercury is a concern, all the substitutes listed in this article are either considered best or good choices by the FDA 1. Mahi mahi is considered a good choice.
The following substitutes are best choices for mercury, and 2 to 3 servings a week is considered safe:
- Sea Bass
The following substitutes are good choices for mercury, and one serving a week is considered safe:
- Mahi Mahi
- Striped Bass
- Fresh Tuna
Mahi Mahi Substitutes
Salmon is one of the fish pretty much everyone has heard of. It’s particularly popular to eat raw. But, it also tastes delicious when cooked.
The major differences between salmon and mahi mahi are:
- It has a different color. Mahi mahi is light pink to white, whereas, salmon is orange.
- Salmon has a much richer flavor than mahi mahi and a more fishy taste.
Salmon is good for people who don’t like fish because when it’s cooked it has more of a meat-like flavor. Although salmon has a fishy aftertaste.
Mahi mahi turns completely white when cooked. However, salmon is orange when raw and turns a paler shade of orange after it’s been cooked.
How the nutrients in salmon compare to mahi mahi:
Salmon has about 6 times the fat as mahi mahi, but it still only contains 6% of the recommended daily intake per 3.5 oz serving 2. The fat is healthy and present because of it’s high omega-3 fatty acid profile.
Salmon has around the same amount of protein, fewer vitamin A but more B6, B12 and phosphorus 3.
Cod and mahi mahi are both saltwater fish. Although mahi mahi grows to be much larger than cod. They have a slightly different flavor.
However, cod makes a great substitute for mahi mahi because it doesn’t have a strong overpowering flavor and is quite mild compared to other fish like mackerel.
Similarities between cod and mahi mahi:
- Form large chunks when cooked
- It has white to very light pink flesh when it’s raw and turns white when cooked.
The major differences between cod and mahi mahi are cod has a fishier taste. It’s still quite mild in comparison to other stronger tasting fish.
How the nutrients in cod compare to mahi mahi:
Cod has the same amount of fat as mahi mahi and has half the sodium. However, it only contains 2% of the recommended daily intake of sodium per 3.5 oz. The calories are almost equal 4.
Halibut is an unusual looking fish that’s quite flat and is similar in appearance to flounder, only it’s much larger. It has a white underbelly, and the top of its body is medium gray in color.
Similarities between halibut and mahi mahi:
- They both have similar colored flesh raw and cooked.
- They both have quite a mild non fishy taste.
- Both grow to be large in size.
- Similar meat-like texture.
Tasting them side by side mahi mahi has a stronger flavor. For that reason, halibut makes a great substitute for mahi mahi, as it is one of the more moderate tasting fish.
How the nutrients in halibut compare to mahi mahi:
Halibut has twice the fat mahi mahi has, but like salmon it’s because of its higher omega-3 fatty acids 5. It contains about 65% the cholesterol that mahi mahi has and about 16% of the recommended daily intake of cholesterol per 3.5 oz.
The sodium and protein content of halibut are virtually identical.
4. Fresh Tuna
Tuna’s deep red color is very different to mahi mahi. Once cooked it turns pink in color. Tuna is very similar in flavor to mahi mahi and has a moderate flavor 6.
Similarities between fresh tuna and mahi mahi:
- Tuna has a similar flavor profile.
- Tuna fillets have a similar size.
The major difference between fresh tuna and mahi mahi is the color. Other than that they are very similar and make it a great substitute for mahi mahi.
How the nutrients in fresh tuna compare to mahi mahi:
Fresh tuna has a similar amount of fat and omega-3 than mahi mahi has 7. In addition, it contains half the cholesterol and sodium. Fresh tuna has about 20% more protein and much more B vitamins.
5. Striped Bass
Striped bass primarily live in the ocean, and return to freshwater to spawn. In all respects striped bass are similar to mahi mahi.
Similarities between striped bass and Mahi mahi:
- They have a similar light pink to white flesh, which turns white when cooked.
- They also have a moderate flavor similar to mahi mahi and not a strong fishy flavor.
- Striped bass can also grow quite large and to a similar size as mahi mahi.
How the nutrients in striped bass compare to mahi mahi:
Striped bass is much fattier and contains 3 times as much fat because of its high omega-3. It contains about two-thirds the sodium mahi mahi has and roughly the same amount of protein 8. If potassium is important, striped bass contain 158mg less.
6. White Sea Bass
White sea bass isn’t as fishy tasting as fish with a stronger flavor like mackerel or anchovies. It’s caught from the sea rather than lakes or rivers. White Sea bass is very similar to Mahi Mahi and makes a good substitute.
Similarities between white sea bass and mahi mahi:
- Has white to very light pink flesh.
- When cooked it turns white.
- It has a mild to moderate taste similar to mahi mahi.
How the nutrients in white sea bass compare to mahi mahi:
White sea bass is fattier than mahi mahi and contains about 3 times more because of its healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also has less cholesterol 9.
The sodium and protein content of white sea bass are virtually the same. It almost equals the high number of vitamin A.
7. Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trout grow to be much smaller than mahi mahi, and the flesh can be either orange, pink, or white. Rainbow trout are a bit different to most of the fish on this list in that they live exclusively in freshwater.
The flesh of trout can be a bit more gamey than mahi mahi. The flesh is also more delicate. But, the flavor is mild, similar to mahi mahi.
How the nutrients in rainbow trout compare to mahi mahi:
The fat content of rainbow trout is 4 times more because of its high omega-3 fatty acids. It contains more omega-3 than any of the other substitutes including striped bass and salmon 10.
It has 80% the cholesterol and one quarter the sodium. Rainbow trout is the one substitute having more vitamin A than mahi mahi.
Smoothie Tip: Adding frozen fruit, instead of ice, enhances the flavor and nutrient content of the drink.
The secret to an easy smoothie with frozen items is having a blender powerful enough to handle the workload. The blender I recommend has a 6 blade, multi-tiered blade, check it out and the current price on Amazon, Nutri Ninja BL685 with Auto-iQ Technology.
Wrapping Up The Mahi Mahi Substitutes
Other than the seven substitutes listed in this article, others exist but didn’t make my list because of their nutrients or mercury content 11. Some of those include shark, marlin and swordfish because of their similar meaty texture as mahi mahi 12.
All those three, although good cooking substitutes, are on the FDA’s list of fish to avoid with the highest mercury levels.
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- FDA: Advice about Eating Fish
- Nutrition Value: Mahi Mahi
- Nutrition Value: Salmon
- Nutrition Value: Cod
- Nutrition Value: Halibut
- Virginia Seafood: Substitution Guide
- Nutrition Value: Fresh Tuna
- Nutrition Value: Striped Bass
- Nutrition Value: Sea Bass
- Nutrition Value: Rainbow trout
- North Carolina Sea Grant: Fish Flavors and Substitutions
- Wikipedia: Mahi-mahi