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How do you cook shark and dolphin?

  • g

I've been given a bag of dolphin filets how do I cook it? Also just received several small shark which I have to clean,prepare and cook.Any cooking suggestions will be appreciated.

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  1. I assume you are asking about dolphin FISH and not dolphin MAMMAL!

    2 Replies
      1. re: scubadoo97

        There is no accounting for taste, and over the years I've read threads on this site asking for recipes for some pretty strange ingredients.

    1. Mahi (I use this word to keep people from losing their shit over the word 'dolphin') is a fabulous firm white filet -- grilled is my favorite way to enjoy this one - broiled next, simply sauteed in a little vegetable oil if you're short on equipment for the first two.. I find it far too special to bread and deep fry.

      I'm not a fan of shark, so can't help you a bit on the cleaning - but the filets benefit from a soak in a dish or milk for an hour or so -- they tend to be quite oily and tend toward ammonia-infused, and the milk helps neutralize this. Then grill or saute as desired - it's a very firm white flesh.

      9 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        I've grilled Mako shark on many occasions and never perceived any need ammonia scent. Typically, that is a sign of fish that is not fresh and has be decomposing. If it is fresh, there is no need to soak.

        To the OP - shark steaks are quite good when grilled. Barbecue sauces brushed on near the end of cooking and soy-based marinades are the most commonly enjoyed preps for the folks I know. Blackened mako bites are another menu item one sees from time to time. The "bites" can also be used for kabobs.

        1. re: MGZ

          Honestly mako is a completely different beast than most shark when it comes to cooking/eating ,and its usually referred to as mako instead of just generic "shark". It is definitely delicious though!

          1. re: MGZ

            the last shark I had, I caught and prepared that night. Very powerful ammonia smell. within hours of being caught and cleaned and kept on ice.

            I'm not a big fan of the flavor, and and have since realized that there is a dire need to keep slow-reproducing top-tier predators in the ocean where they belong.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I have to ask how you cleaned it. Was the head and tail removed immediately and the shark bled out and iced? This is absolutely necessary. I am re-posting a link to "Coastal Sharks, the Other White Meat."


              1. re: James Cristinian

                I don't remember -- it was close to 20 years ago. I'd had other shark before that, prepared the same way, but this time we forgot to do the milk soak.

                I just came to the conclusion that to me, it's just not that grate, akshully, and I'd rather they be out there as predators since I don't care for the meat that much.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  I hear you. They are overfished in some areas, but I can assure you the darned things are thick as fleas here on the Upper Texas Coast to the point of being a nuisance when wade fishing the Gulf for speckled trout and redfish. Pretty much everyone I know has had fish stolen off a stringer by sharks, and some days almost all you catch are sharks, they like soft plastic aritficial lures quite well. I now use a string and a basket. Not long ago I pulled my fish out of the water five feet from shore and there was a two footer about six inches from my ankle. The limit on sharks here is one per day, and I throw them back because I am not equipped to deal with cleaning while wading three hundred yards offshore.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    yeah - having a bloody fish hanging off your hip that far offshore is definitely not a good idea. O.o

                    By the way, Mahi are considered a good alternative by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.

              2. re: sunshine842

                Due to the way their excretory system has evolved sharks have very high levels of urea intheir blood, this causes all shark meat no matter how fresh to have ammonia content and odor. Shark meat should be soaked to reduce this. The soaking will not reduce the mercury, which is not water soluble.

                1. re: malabargold

                  Thanks for your support -- the mercury is just another reason why I tend to avoid shark -- top-level predators also have top-level concentrations of toxins and heavy metals.

          2. I like to serve them with Koala Bear risotto and baby seal puree. :P

            In all seriousness, Im right on board with sunshine. Grilled mahi is the way to go, and Im stumped on the shark as its not really eaten very much. (other than the fins for soup)

            1. Season and grill or sear in a pan until still slightly pink in the center. If you over cook dolphin it gets dry.

              I don't cook shark so can't give you specifics but it's like most other fish. It is dense. More like swordfish. Meaty not flaky.

              1. I had shark once and don't remember the variety; it was a sizable steak, at least an inch thick and braised in a chunky tomato-garlic sauce with red wine. As scubadoo97 mentioned, it was firm and meaty, not unlike swordfish, and a bit darker in color. The color may have been due to the variety.

                Tasty, but never to be repeated.

                1. You and JBANNISTER need to talk.

                  1. Proper handling of the shark immediately after catching is crucial. If the tail and head are not removed and the shark isn't bled and iced, the meat is probably worthless. That being said, small blacktip sharks are considered excellent table fare here on the Texas coast. Here's a link to an article on preperation. Scroll down a bit for cleaning and cooking tips.


                    1. actual dolphin, if that's what you mean, is likely to contain toxic levels of mercury.

                      1. Mahi mahi (sometimes called dolphin) is delicious grilled! I marinate with some garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and olive oil, grill, and put in fish tacos.

                        Dolphin, like Flipper, is illegal to catch/eat.

                        1. Cooked Mako one time. Saw it in supermarket and decided to give it a try. Can't remember exactly how I cooked it... probably quick saute in a little butter and then squeeze of lemon... something simple. Don't recall "swooning" over it, but no complaints. DO remember that the amount I bought was WAY too much for one meal... eyes bigger than stomach, I guess. I tightly wrapped and stuck extra in freezer for later date. When I decided to cook it... had a "brilliant" idea?!? Deided to try to "poach" it (from frozen)... figured it would thaw and cook in short time. WELL, results were a total FAIL. Can't think of any kinda fish that you REALLY need a knife for... ya did with this!?! It was SOOOO tough and hard... inedible... though dog did seem to enjoy it... then again, she'd eat about anything??

                          1. Real dolphins? I thought it's illegal to kill them.

                            1. People. Relax.

                              Nobody is popping Flipper over the head and fileting him.

                              Dolphin is another name for Mahi Mahi - also known as dolphin fish, mahi, and Dorado.

                              It's a game fish, highly prized for its fighting ability and tasty meat.



                              Not a mammal.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: sunshine842

                                "Nobody is popping Flipper over the head and fileting him."

                                except in Japan, where they're herded en masse to slaughter and sold for food.

                                1. re: splatgirl

                                  Not many chowhounders posting from Japan

                                  We all know Japanese eat dolphin and Eskimos eat whale. Malaysians eat monkey....

                                  Not trying to trash other cultures, just reminding that other cultures eat things you find strange and maybe offensive. Doesn't make it right or wrong, just different

                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                    Do we all know that? I didn't until fairly recently.

                                    In any case, the point awaits clarification. I wouldn't assume the OP means one vs. the other based on any locale or ethnicity. If it exists where it can be caught, I'm sure someone is eating it, legal (strange, offensive) or not.

                                    1. re: splatgirl

                                      "In any case, the point awaits clarification."

                                      He said dolphin filets. That should answer your question.

                                      1. re: splatgirl

                                        The only country where the harvesting of dolphins (Cetacea delphinidae) is allowed (and accepted) is in Japan, where it is, I think, consumed raw, so cooking instructions wouldn't apply anyway. Someone concerned with the preparation would by any odds be posting this in Japanese on a Japanese board. (It occasionally also shows up in Peru....but same idea -- questions would probably be in Spanish on a Spanish board by any odds.

                                        (there's also an argument that anyone who the opportunity to purchase a whole dolphin would also have access to people who know the traditional methods for cleaning and cooking it...)

                                        Since it is, indeed, not only illegal but reprehensible to most folks in the Anglophone world, and accompanied by questions about eating shark, which is most common in the southeast US, it's a fairly safe assumption that the OP is referring indeed to Coryphaena hippurus, which is called mahi mahi in the Hawaiian language, and dorado in Spanish-influenced areas, but has been referred to as dolphin for decades in the southeast US.

                                2. Re: the "dolphin", which I'm automatically assuming you mean "Mahi Mahi" - you can cook those filets the way you'd cook any thick white fish filet. I make it often. Look online for "Mahi Mahi" recipes - you'll find plenty of interesting stuff to choose from.

                                  Re: shark - I envy you. I was enjoying shark from several decades ago when it was considered a "trash fish". I pity the folks who thought of it as such then & now won't get a chance to enjoy it since the vast majority of species are now endangered. Thank you unregulated fishing industry. Anyway - any recipes for swordfish are equally perfect for shark. So look for swordfish recipes.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                    "Thank you unregulated fishing industry." There are Federal and state regulations on sharks and have been in many places for up to ten years. State regulations in Texas, Florida, and New Jersey are one per day. Federal regulations are one per boat, and a permit is required.


                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                      Yes - but the regulations re: shark were too little & far too late.

                                      As soon as swordfish prices went over the top & people realized how similar - & cheap - shark was, fishing for it went ape-sh*t. THAT was the time to institute regulations. Not now, when populations of Mako, Black-Fin, etc., are ebbing.

                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                        I have lived off and on in the Yucatan for 16 years, where a few old time fishermen in their ponga boats still pull in large bull sharks from the deep Cozumel channel, sometimes 9 or 10 feet. They sell them to local restaurants, which in turn serve them as "mero" -(grouper). I don't approve of the shark fishing, and I don't rat out the restaurants for the deception. They don't try to trick me so it works for me.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          Shark for grouper? And people can't tell the difference? Crazy

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            I cannot imagine in what alternate universe shark flesh could even be remotely confused with grouper....not doubting that they do it -- just not understanding how anybody could be fooled....

                                    2. I remember once a friend inquired about a fishing trip and I mentioned we caught some Dolphin, then I had to explain that I was talking about Dolphin the fish, not Dolphin the mammal, she then asks "Which was Flipper?"

                                      So I'm like "What do you which was Flipper?"

                                      And she says "Which was Flipper, the fish or the mammal?"