Wahoo vs. Mahi Mahi Taste: Which Is Better?

Two of the most common fish that you would come across while in Hawaii are Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. Both are delicious fish you can eat and enrich your health. But what does wahoo and mahi mahi taste like, and which is better?

Wahoo vs. Mahi Mahi

If you’ve never eaten any of the fish but intend to, this guide is for you as we’ll compare the two fish in-depth. We’ll also show you how to handle and fillet the fish.

Wahoo Fish Taste: What Does Wahoo Taste Like?

Wahoo, also known as Ono Fish in Hawaii, is one of the fish in the mackerel family. It lives in subtropical or tropical waters, and it’s believed to be the fastest fish in the sea, covering about 60 mph. Wahoo has a long slender body with several sharp teeth and weighs up to 150 pounds.

Wahoo Fish

It’s one of the best fish to catch as an angler, though you must be careful as it can bite you. Wahoo has less red meat muscle than the others in the mackerel family. This fish is pale pink, but after cooking, it turns white. 

For those looking to give it a try, what does wahoo taste like?

Its name in Hawaiian, “ono”, means “good to eat”, and it is rightfully so. Ono fish has a firm, flaky texture with a mild and sweet flavour. Despite being in the mackerel family,  its meat is not gamey or fishy at all.

Wahoo Fish taste differently depending on how you cook them. When grilled, it is comparable to veal or chicken, meanwhile, smoked Ono Fish taste like a turkey. You can also prepare it by poaching, baking, broiling, etc. Either way, this type of fish is delicious and can be a great source of nutrients for your healthy diet.

Mahi Mahi Taste: What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like?

If you want to eat colorful, delicious fish, opt for Mahi Mahi. The fish changes colors from blue to green depending on its circumstances. Mahi Mahi’s growth rate is very high. They’re slender and weigh about 100 pounds, while they can live for around four years.

Mahi Mahi Fish

Since they like to walk as a group and hide under floating objects, you’ll not have difficulties catching them. The best thing about eating this fish is that mahi mahi taste very fresh and sweet. But it’s not meaty and has bigger moist flakes.

Mahi Mahi taste more fishy than white fish like cod, but less fishy than swordfish. What sets them apart from the rest of the sea fish is its unique flavor and dense, juicy flesh. However, its meat may flake when you overcook it.

You can read more: Can You Eat Mahi Mahi  

Wahoo vs Mahi Mahi Taste: Which Is Better?

The comparison of wahoo vs mahi mahi (or ono fish vs mahi mahi) has always caught a lot of attention from the angler community. Both of these notorious fish have excellent and somewhat similar taste.

In terms of Wahoo, it is a tasty fish with a mild taste and lean, firm meat. It also has large and circular flakes. If you grill it, wahoo fish taste like veal or chicken. 

On the other hand, Mahi Mahi is a slightly sweet fish with a stronger fishy flavor than the other white fish. However, its taste is much milder than that of swordfish.

Also, the larger and mature Mahi tastes much stronger than the smaller ones. It has large and firm, moist flakes, and the skin is not sweet – you should remove it before cooking.

Wahoo Fish Raw

Wahoo Fish Raw.

Wahoo and Mahi Mahi tastes are also almost similar as both have a mild sweet taste. The only difference is that wahoos’ flavor is much stronger, and it feels like chicken when grilled, while Mahi Mahi’s is much of white meat. In the debate of ono vs mahi mahi taste, both are better-tasting fish with several health benefits. However, the cooking method can also enhance the taste and make you love one more than the other.

Mahi Mahi vs Wahoo Fish Mercury Level: Is Mahi Mahi High In Mercury?

Another question many may concern about consuming these types of fish is that: Is mahi mahi high in mercury? The answer is, both wahoo and mahi mahi have moderate mercury levels

Though it is not so high as to cause danger to human health, you should still limit the number of times you eat any of these fish weekly. For an average adult, the recommended amount of consumption is no more than 2 servings per week. Having too much of these may lead to serious condition like mercury poisoning.

Pregnant women can still eat mahi mahi and wahoo fish, but only a limited amount. They along with children and nursing mothers need to be even more cautious as mercury is harmful to the developing nervous systems of the baby. It’s advisable that children and mothers eat no more than one serving of Mahi Mahi (or Wahoo) per week.

Is Wahoo Similar to Mahi Mahi?

No. Wahoo and Mahi Mahi are not similar in body structure or size. However, they share similar features that make them stand out from the other sea meat. For example, both grow faster and reach sexual maturity while still young. They also produce many young fish at ago, which keeps their lineage going.

Apart from that, they all are tropical fish found majorly on bigger water bodies like the sea. Also, they’re sold fresh and in frozen form. Both of them also eat the same diet as they’re all carnivorous fish with sharp teeth. The two are also ‘hunting fish’ as they spend most of their time in the water chasing after their next meal, something that’s attributed to their tastes.

Wahoo And Mahi Mahi Substitutes

The two fish can substitute for one another as both have firm, large texture flakes. Their tastes are also almost similar. However, wahoos’ flavor is much stronger, and it feels like chicken when grilled, while Mahi Mahi’s is much of white meat.

So, this gives you room to look for better substitutes for any of the fish. For example, salmon is one of the best Mahi Mahi substitutes, while Spanish mackerel or kingfish substitutes for wahoos.

When substituting any of the fish, consider their size and weight plus texture. Also, go for similar filets and whether it’s sweeter with or without skin.

Wahoo And Mahi Mahi Nutrient Comparison

Nutrients Wahoo (raw) Mahi Mahi (raw)
Calories 167 100
Saturated Fat 2.4 grams 0 gram
Total fat 9.4 grams 1 gram
Cholesterol 64mg 80mg
Protein 19.3g 22 grams
Omega 3 N/A 0.11 grams
Sodium N/A 100 grams


Mahi Mahi (raw)

Mahi Mahi (raw).

How To Fillet Wahoo Fish

If you want to cook this delicious fish, it’s best to fillet it to remove the bones and have an easy time while eating. Also, take this opportunity to make them into desired pieces according to your cooking pans to make your work easier.

How To Fillet Wahoo

You can fillet Wahoo by:

  • Cut through the fish belly all through to the gill plates or near the base of the head.
  • After that, make another cut towards the belly where you made the first cut. Insert the knife behind the bone while holding the pectoral fin for more stability.
  • Ensure the cut extends to the fish’s back.
  • Also, cut from the belly across the sides. Cut about 1 inch deep with your knife’s tip.
  • Then move your hands (while holding the knife) towards the tail. This will enable you to separate the tail end from the rest of the body.
  • Turn the fish and cut through the entire length along the dorsal fin side. Ensure you deep cut it for better results.
  • After that, run the knife deep and cut the fillet out of the carcass around the rib cage.
  • Then cut through the bones on the rib cage to get the first round of fillet.
  • Cut the meat from the rib cage area into two. Put aside the side with no bloodline flesh.
  • You should then remove the flesh from the remaining piece. Cut along the margins to do this with ease. Throw the bloodline in a safer area.
  • The next thing you should do is to remove Wahoo’s skin. Slice through it vertically into 12-inch lengths. After that, place the knife sideways and scrape off the scales on the fish. Cutting the fillets into pieces before slicing is to have a manageable size that you can hold with ease when scaping.
  • Be keen on any remaining red meat and remove them.
  • You can then cut the fillets into smaller pieces and cook at will.

Cooking Pan-Seared Wahoo

You can cook Wahoo to have a delicious meal after a long stressful day. We’ll show you how to prepare a pan-smeared Wahoo.

pan-smeared Wahoo


  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter

How to prepare Wahoo Fish

  • Brush the fillets with olive oil.
  • After that, put them on a plate and sprinkle about half a spoon of olive oil. This will help you have all corners smeared with the oil so that it doesn’t stick as you cook on the pan.
  • Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Put enough according to your taste. Do sprinkle the salt and pepper on both sides to have evenly spread seasoning.
  • Note that you can add other spices and herbs to make the fillets tastier.


  1. Put a non-stick skillet on fire. Let it heat well, then add olive oil. As the oil heats up, bring the fillet close. You will see the oil produce bubbles showing it’s ready for use.
  2. Then place the fillets on the pan and allow it to cook. You can also cook Wahoo’s skin. So put it in the pan but let the fillets face the pan.
  3. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the other side to cook. Flip each fillet at a time and avoid doing so too early to prevent breaking it into pieces.

How To Fillet Mahi Mahi

You will not have many challenges filleting mahi-mahi as it’s with Wahoo. When doing this, use a sharp knife to give precise cuts.

You can fillet by;

  • Cut through the head running all the way to the pectoral fin. Follow the contours of the skull to have precise cuts.
  • Make a deep cut at the lower part of the tail to the spine.
  • Then work backward with the knife to get the first fillet.
  • Turn to the other side of the fish and repeat the above procedure.
  • Remember, you can remove the skin before or after filleting. Gently cut through the skin around the fish outline to get out the skin.

Fillet Mahi Mahi

Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe

The following steps will help you bake your Mahi Mahi:


  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Salt
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat your oven to about 375 degrees F.
  2. Then heat the butter in a small skillet pan on medium heat.
  3. After that, add garlic and allow it to cook for about one minute.
  4. Also, add the mustard, Worcestershire, and honey and let it cook for an additional minute.
  5. Sprinkle lemon juice over them and put them in the refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Cut the basil and scallions into smaller pieces.
  7. After that, cut the Mahi Mahi fillets into desired sizes.
  8. Use foil to arrange the pieces, then add the sauce. Raise the corners of the foil to avoid spilling the sauce.
  9. Equally spread the sauce over the fillets.
  10. Then top it with basil and scallions.
  11. Add salt and pepper.
  12. Then put the food in the oven to roast it for about 15 minutes. However, this time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.

Allow your Mahi to cook for some time before adding the remaining baked sauce over it.

Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe

Tips On How to Handle Your Fish to Maintain the Delicious Taste

It’s best to handle fish with care and respect if you want to eat fresh and delicious fish. Here’s how to manage your Wahoo or Mahi Mahi fish to improve its quality;

Use a sharp knife while filleting to reduce the pressure when cutting the meat. This will prevent the knife’s metals from remaining on the meat, which is not healthy to eat. If possible, have a sharpening stone to help you make the blade sharper. Then you can sharpen the knife after every four cuts to have seamless cuts.

Clean your hands with warm soapy water to avoid bringing strange tastes to your fish. Also, clean the surface you’ll be working on to prevent contaminating the fish. It’s best to work on a flat, clean surface to give you an easy time cutting the fillets.

Also, avoid cutting fish in an area with direct sunlight exposure. Sunlight will increase the chances of your fish going bad and having a bad taste. It can affect its taste which will make you not enjoy your meal.

After filleting your fish, ensure you keep it in a safe, dry place with cool temperatures. Use brine mixture and ice to store your Wahoo or Mahi Mahi.

Bottom Line

As more people discover sea fish and enjoy these delicacies, look for Wahoo (a.k.a. Ono Fish) or Mahi Mahi and eat to your full. However, if you are still pondering over which to choose: Mahi Mahi vs Ono, the two delicious foods have similarities and differences, making each unique and the best choice. You can also prepare and cook them using different methods, as this guide has elaborated.

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