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Apr 15, 2009 11:02 AM

Those "Marlin" Tacos [split from L.A.]

FYI people... just so that you know... what they serve at Mariscos German isn't exactly Smoked Marlin its actually Smoked Ahi... I've had both in Cabo, as well as frequently cooking with them in Hawaii... the red hue is a dead ringer for Smoked Ahi and is actually its natural color. Marlin actually gets quite greyish brown.

I have confirmed that in Mexico... it is common to label Ahi as Marlin because Ahi is actually significantly cheaper... so they wholesalers & markets fetch a better price. Also, other types of big "swordfish-esque" fishes usually get labeled as Marlin.

Its actually fortunate that most places serve Smoked Ahi instead because it has much lower levels of mercury & other heavy metal contaminants.

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  1. That is 100% correct, they're called tacos de marlin whether they are smoked tuna or smoked marlin. Either option works for me, it's more the preparation and quality of the smoked fish that seals the deal.

    5 Replies
    1. re: streetgourmetla

      Yeah... smoked tuna is just as great as smoked marlin... I just wanted to reassure people about the color, as well as the fact they have less contaminants then they might fear.

      Also... Mexican Tuna fishing is so much more sustainable & less intensive than Japanese & Mediterranean practices. In fact, if you don't consume Mexican tuna in its best forms (Sashimi, Loins & Smoking) its just going to end up in a can.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Thanks!! I thought the red came from the smoking process! :DD No wonder I loved it... I LOVE Ahi! :DD


        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          Actually I really like the Dolores canned mexican tuna...I make chile jalapenos relleno de atun con aceitunas, pepitas, alcapparas y cilantro-- awesome

          Seeing the Mexican tuna farms in the bay on the way from TJ to ensenada is one of the most impressive vistas I have seen.

          1. re: kare_raisu

            Not knocking Mexico's good as any other canned tunas... but once you get down to Nick San in Cabo and see the local fish's raw potential... you know what I am talking about.

          2. re: Eat_Nopal

            contaminants, nothing! anything that rich, savory, delicious, melting, powerful, comforting, elemental, oh- i got sidetracked- yeah, anything that good could come from mars for all I care, I'd still seek it out obsessively!

        2. It is my understanding that most marlin are released unless it looks like they won't survive, plus are more difficult to catch due to limited numbers, which would certainly result in the price differential. We have a similiar problem in Houston with red snapper or "bay snapper," which exist in name only. Restaurants substitute rough fish like sheepshead or even tilapia for red snapper. If you're paying 9.99 for a "red snapper" dish, you can assume it's not snapper, unless the owner is giving it away.