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Recipe: Mahi Escabeche


An Amazing Prepare-Ahead Dish

“Ride, boldly ride,” was the advice given to the gallant knight of Poe’s poem, Eldorado. Dorado, as it happens, is one of names given to the dolphinfish, what our friends in Hawaiian fisheries call mahi-mahi. And the name is no small detail, because confusing this abundant, edible sport fish with the dolphin of Flipper fame has caused some unnecessary lapses in the delicious mahi-mahi’s popularity. As your fresh seafood company, Boston Sword & Tuna would like to help clear that up. 

The confusion between dolphinfish – mahi-mahi – and dolphins is unfortunate. They are not even related. The dolphinfish is, uh, a fish, and the dolphin is a mammal. Carefully monitored for sustainability, mahi-mahi populations have rebounded, thanks to a protective order in 2015 that suspended commercial mahi-mahi fishing for a time. Over the long haul, it remains a popular choice, and in the vast reaches of ancient history, people agree. A particularly beautiful mural from the 1600 BC Minoan culture, on beautiful Santorini in ancient Greece, shows a young fisherman gladly holding a dozen dolphinfish on two heavily laden stringers.

Where Most People Meet Their Mahi-Mahi

Today, most people who meet a mahi-mahi do so from the deck of a charter fishing boat. They are sought-after for their beauty, size, and their mild, sweet, delicious flavor. Though mahi-mahi is not high on the list of our commercial offerings, as your company for gourmet fresh seafood home delivery online, we wanted to pass along this recipe.


  • 2 8-ounce mahi-mahi fillets from Boston Sword & Tuna
  • 1 red onion, halved and slivered lengthwise
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbl allspice
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ½ Tbl + 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1¼ cups of water


  1. Rinse the mahi-mahi and pat dry. Cut each fillet into two equal pieces.
  2. Heat a half tablespoon of the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and add the fish. Turn it once, browning on both sides until opaque, but still moist in the center, about eight to 10 minutes. Transfer fish to a two- or three-quart glass or ceramic dish.
  3. In the original pan, heat another teaspoon of olive oil and add the red onion. Stir until browned. Spoon the onion over the fish in the dish.
  4. Combine the cider vinegar, allspice, black peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, salt, sugar, and water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Remove the flavorful mixture from the heat and pour immediately over the fish and onion. Let it stand about 15 minutes, then cover and chill at least eight hours.
  6. When it’s time to serve, let your mahi escabeche come to room temperature. Then lift the fish slices from the liquid and arrange them on a platter, topping them with the onion slices they were cooked with.

Now it’s time to enjoy! We’re dedicated to becoming your best fresh seafood market online, and so now and then we’ll suggest some new ideas for how to prepare the beautiful bounty of the sea.

As your sea to home online fish market, our family here at Boston Sword & Tuna stands ready to be your trusted source for shellfish and online fresh fish delivery. We look forward to serving you.

Michael J. Scola

While earning his degree in business, Michael spent summers and winters working the floor at Boston Sword & Tuna and learning the seafood business from the ground up. As a fifth-generation fishmonger and handled different species, lumped sword and tuna, sorted through vats of haddock and cod, broke down salmon cases, graded the fish, and more. During this time, Mike was a veritable sea sponge, learning from the most-experienced seafood professionals in the game while acquiring the tools needed to be successful in this gritty industry.