Mahi-Mahi VS Salmon

Mahi-Mahi VS Salmon

Mahi-mahi and salmon are two popular types of seafood that differ in several ways. Mahi-mahi is a warm-water fish that is typically found in tropical and subtropical oceans, while salmon is a cold-water fish that is found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. 

Mahi-mahi has a mild, sweet flavor and a delicate, while salmon has a rich, distinctive flavor that can be somewhat salty. Mahi-mahi is generally larger than most types of salmon, and has a firm, flakey texture.

Salmon is known for its firm, buttery texture and distinct orange or red color. While both fish are healthy sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they are often used in different types of recipes and cuisines.

This article will compare the taste, texture and  nutritional benefits of mahi-mahi and salmon to help you make an informed decision about which fish to choose for your next meal.

What is Mahi-Mahi? What Are Their Types?

girl with dolphinfish

Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphinfish or dorado, is a type of fish found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. It is a highly sought after game fish and is also commercially fished for its flesh, which is firm and lean, with a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

  • The skin of the fish is typically a bright, iridescent blue or greenish color, while the flesh is white, pinkish or gray in color, depending on the age and size of the fish.
  • Mahi-mahi can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 50 pounds, although most fish caught are smaller.
  • They are fast-swimming fish that are often found near floating debris, such as logs or seaweed, and feed on a variety of prey, including smaller fish and squid.

Mahi-mahi is commonly served grilled, baked, or fried and is a popular seafood choice in many countries.

Coryphaena Hippurus

Coryphaena Hippurus, also known as the common dolphinfish or mahi-mahi, is found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. It is a fast-swimming fish that can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 50 pounds.

  • The skin of the fish is typically a bright, iridescent blue or greenish color, while the flesh is white, pinkish, or gray in color, depending on the age and size of the fish.
  • Common dolphinfish feed on a variety of prey, including smaller fish and squid, and are often found near floating debris, such as logs or seaweed.
  • They are a popular game fish and are also commercially fished for their flesh.

Coryphaena Equiselis

Coryphaena Equiselis, also known as the pompano dolphinfish or lesser mahi-mahi, is a smaller species of dolphinfish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It is typically smaller than the common dolphinfish, with an average length of three feet and weight of 30 pounds.

  • The skin of the fish is also iridescent, but the color is typically more green than blue.
  • The flesh of the pompano dolphinfish is also white, pinkish, or gray in color and is lean and firm, with a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
  • Like the common dolphinfish, pompano dolphinfish are also popular game fish and are caught commercially for their flesh.

What Is Salmon?


Salmon is a species of fish that is a member of the family Salmonidae. There are several species of salmon, including Atlantic salmon and Pacific salmon. These fish are typically found in the cold water of the Northern Hemisphere, including the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, as well as in freshwater rivers and lakes.

  • Salmon have a distinctive appearance, with a streamlined body, silvery scales, and a pinkish-orange flesh.
  • They are known for their rich, buttery flavor and are a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world.
  • Salmon are also an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious choice for a balanced diet.

In addition to being consumed fresh, salmon is also commonly smoked, canned, or frozen for later use. Commercial fishing of salmon is an important industry in many countries, and salmon is also farmed in many regions to meet the high demand for this popular fish.

Chinook (King Salmon)

Chinook (King Salmon) is the largest species of Pacific salmon and can grow up to 100 pounds in weight. They have a distinctive flavor that is rich, fatty, and buttery, with a firm texture. The flesh of Chinook salmon is typically orange to red in color, and they are highly prized for their high oil content and nutritional value. They are also the most expensive type of Pacific salmon.

Sockeye (Red Salmon)

Sockeye (Red Salmon) is another popular species of Pacific salmon, known for its bright red flesh and firm texture. They have a distinct, rich flavor that is less fatty than Chinook salmon, making them a good choice for grilling or broiling. Sockeye salmon are typically smaller than Chinook salmon, and they are also less expensive.

Pink (Humpback Salmon)

Pink (Humpback Salmon) is the smallest and most abundant species of Pacific salmon. They are also the least expensive and are commonly used in canned salmon products. Pink salmon have a light pink flesh that is mild in flavor and softer in texture than other types of Pacific salmon. They are also commonly used for smoking and grilling.

Mahi-Mahi VS Salmon – At A Glance

Let’s have a quick look at the table before we get into the details of the differences between the two kinds of fishes.

Difference Mahi-MahiSalmon
TasteMild, SweetRich, Distinctive
TextureFirm, FlakeyFirm, Buttery
FlavorDelicae, NuttyRobust, Salty
ColorBlue-green, YellowishOrange
SizeLarge (Varies)Medium-Large (Varies)
ShapeOblong, RoundedSlender

Key Differences Between Mahi-Mahi and Salmon

We have gathered a few key differences for you to decipher the various aspects of Mahi-Mahi and Salmon. They are as follows: 


baked salmon
Baked Salmon

Mahi-mahi and salmon have different taste profiles due to their different types of flesh and diet.

  • Mahi-mahi has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that is often compared to the taste of swordfish. It has a slightly nutty flavor. The flavor of mahi-mahi is often enhanced with seasonings or marinades, and it is commonly served grilled, baked, or fried.
  • Salmon, on the other hand, has a rich, buttery flavor with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. The color of the flesh ranges from pale pink to bright orange, depending on the species. The flavor of salmon is often enhanced with seasonings or sauces, and it is commonly served grilled, smoked, or baked.


Mahi-mahi and salmon have different textures due to their different types of flesh and fat content.

  • Mahi-mahi has a firm and lean flesh, which gives it a meaty texture. The flesh is moist and has a slightly nutty flavor. The texture of mahi-mahi is firm and resilient, making it suitable for grilling, broiling, and frying. Because it is a lean fish, it is less likely to fall apart during cooking, and it has a mild resistance when chewed.
  • Salmon, on the other hand, has a tender and flaky texture due to its high fat content. The flesh is delicate and melts in the mouth, and it has a rich, buttery flavor. The texture of salmon can vary depending on the species, but it is generally softer and more delicate than mahi-mahi. Because of its flakiness, salmon can be more challenging to cook without breaking apart, and it is typically cooked using gentle methods such as baking or grilling on a cedar plank.


Mahi-mahi and salmon are different in size due to their different species and life cycles.

Mahi-mahi is a relatively small fish, with an average weight of around 15 to 30 pounds and a length of 3 to 5 feet.

  • However, some larger specimens can reach up to 6 feet in length and weigh up to 80 pounds.
  • Mahi-mahi grows rapidly, reaching sexual maturity in just a few months, and they have a lifespan of around 5 years.

Salmon, on the other hand, can vary greatly in size depending on the species.

  • Chinook (King) salmon can grow up to 100 pounds and reach lengths of over 5 feet, while Pink salmon are much smaller, averaging around 3 to 5 pounds in weight and 1.5 to 2 feet in length.
  • The average size of a typical Pacific salmon species is between 15 to 30 pounds in weight and 2 to 4 feet in length. 
Crusted Mahi Mahi


Mahi-mahi and salmon have different shapes due to their anatomical features and different species.

Mahi-mahi has a distinctive shape, with a long, slender body that tapers towards the tail.

  • The body is slightly flattened from side to side and has a deep, curved dorsal fin that extends along the entire length of the body.
  • Mahi-mahi also has a distinctive head shape, with a blunt, sloping forehead and a prominent jawline.

Salmon have a more streamlined shape, with a long, slender body that tapers towards the tail. 

  • They have a relatively small head with a pointed snout and a small mouth.
  • Salmon also have a series of fins along their bodies, including a dorsal fin, an adipose fin, and an anal fin.


Mahi-mahi is commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters, including the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • They are typically caught using longlines, trolling, or hand lines, and are available year-round in many regions.
  • However, their availability can be affected by weather conditions, ocean currents, and fishing regulations.

Salmon are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as in freshwater rivers and lakes.

  • Salmon are usually available during specific seasons, with Pacific salmon species typically caught during the summer months, while Atlantic salmon can be available year-round.
  • The availability of salmon can also be affected by environmental factors such as water temperature, river conditions, and fishing regulations.


Mahi-mahi and salmon are used differently in various cuisines and recipes due to their different flavors, textures, and culinary properties.

Mahi-mahi is commonly used in many tropical and coastal cuisines, particularly in the Caribbean and Hawaii, where it is often grilled, broiled, or fried.

  • The firm, meaty texture of mahi-mahi makes it suitable for grilling or frying.
  • It can be used in a variety of dishes such as fish tacos, ceviche, and seafood stews.

Salmon, on the other hand, is widely used in many different types of cuisine, including Asian, European, and North American cuisine.

  • Salmon’s delicate, buttery flavor and tender texture make it well-suited to dishes such as sushi, smoked salmon, and gravlax. 
  • Salmon is also commonly grilled, baked, or poached, and is often used in dishes such as salmon burgers, chowders, and fish pies.

In addition to their use in various cuisines, both mahi-mahi and salmon are also commonly used in the food industry to make fish oil supplements and pet food. Salmon is also often used to make fish meal, which is a common ingredient in animal feed.

Mahi-Mahi VS Salmon – Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Here is the nutrition table for 3.5 ounces of servings of Mahi-Mahi and Salmon

Nutritious Element per3.5 ounces of servingMahi-MahiSalmon
Calories93 kcal155 kcal
Saturated Fat0.3g1.3g

Mahi-mahi and salmon both offer a number of potential health benefits due to their nutrient content, including:

  • Good source of protein: Both mahi-mahi and salmon are good sources of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon is especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a range of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain health, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Mahi-mahi and salmon both contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium, which are important for maintaining overall health and well-being.
  • Low in saturated fat: Mahi-mahi and salmon are both relatively low in saturated fat, which is important for maintaining heart health.
  • Antioxidants: Both mahi-mahi and salmon contain antioxidants such as astaxanthin and selenium, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Can You Substitute Mahi-Mahi For Salmon?

Yes, you can substitute Mahi-Mahi for Salmon in many recipes. Mahi-Mahi has a firm texture and a slightly sweet taste, which makes it a great alternative to salmon in many dishes.

However, it is important to note that the two fish have different flavors and textures, so the end result may not be exactly the same as the original recipe. Additionally, Mahi-Mahi is typically leaner than salmon, so you may need to adjust cooking times and methods accordingly

Storage Tips for Mahi-Mahi and Salmon

  • Refrigeration: Mahi-Mahi and Salmon should be stored in the refrigerator immediately after purchase. They should be kept in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air and moisture. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freezing: If you don’t plan to use the fish within a few days, it’s best to freeze it. Both Mahi-Mahi and Salmon can be frozen for up to 6 months. To freeze, wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
  • Thawing: When it comes time to use the fish, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can thaw it under cold running water or in the microwave using the defrost setting.
  • Proper handling: When handling Mahi-Mahi and Salmon, it’s important to practice good food safety habits. Always wash your hands before and after handling the fish, and use separate cutting boards and utensils to avoid cross-contamination.

By following these storage tips, you can help ensure that your Mahi-Mahi and Salmon stay fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible.


Is Mahi-Mahi a healthy fish to eat?

Yes, Mahi-Mahi is a healthy fish to eat. It is a good source of protein, and it also contains omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients.

Can you eat mahi-mahi raw?

Yes, Mahi-Mahi can be eaten raw, but it’s important to ensure that it’s been properly handled and prepared to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Can you eat the skin on salmon?

Yes, the skin on salmon is safe and edible, and many people enjoy eating it.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Mahi-Mahi and Salmon are both delicious and nutritious types of fish that can be used in a variety of recipes. While they have some similarities, such as being a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they also have some differences in terms of taste, texture, and availability.

Mahi-Mahi has a firm texture and a slightly sweet taste, and is typically leaner than Salmon. It’s also considered a sustainable seafood option, making it a good choice for environmentally conscious consumers. On the other hand, Salmon has a buttery texture and a rich flavor, and is more widely available than Mahi-Mahi in many parts of the world.

Ultimately, the choice between Mahi-Mahi and Salmon comes down to personal preference, as well as factors such as availability, cost, and sustainability. Both types of fish can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet, and can be used in a variety of delicious recipes.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *