Some fish are granted amnesty, but wahoo are never to be released. With unmistakable iridescent stripes and pointed jaws lined with serrated teeth, these impressive predators have uniquely opaque meat that is lean, firm and ideal for steaking, filleting and a variety of cooking methods balancing both flavor and texture.
As with any catch destined for the dinner table, it’s very important that wahoo are put on ice immediately to counteract the natural enzymes that quickly begin to deteriorate prized flesh. If you can’t catch your own, wahoo can be challenging to procure at most fish markets as there’s really no dedicated commercial fishery. Still, finding wahoo isn’t impossible. However it is accomplished, fresh is best, with the briny flavor of wahoo pairing perfectly with a crunchy quinoa salad adorned with pomegranate, hazelnut, apple, onion, celery and hints of citrus.
- 2 pounds fresh wahoo
- 1 ½ cups red and white quinoa
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup green apple, diced
- ¼ cup hazelnuts, diced
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 lime, zested
- Salt and pepper
Start by boiling two cups of mixed red and white quinoa, substituting water with orange juice. Bring to boil, stir once, then reduce to simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Begin dicing celery, onion, apple and hazelnuts, and then mix with olive oil, lemon juice, lime zest and apple cider vinegar. Add chilled quinoa to prepared ingredients and gently toss.
Preheat charcoal grill to high heat while bringing wahoo fillets to room temperature. Coat with extra-virgin olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. The goal is to quickly cook the outside of the fish to lock in the juices. Remember that the fillet will continue cooking after it has been removed from the grill, so three minutes per side is plenty. Only flip once. More so than any other fish, it is important you don’t overcook wahoo or it will quickly dry out and lose its delicate flavor.