If you’re a fan of fish and seafood, chances are you’ve encountered the dorado at least once. So, what is dorado fish?
This tropical fish is popular in many culinary dishes, especially in the Caribbean, North and South America, and Oceania. It has white flesh with a mild flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked to increase its flavor and reduce cooking time.
If you’re intrigued by the dorado’s appearance, characteristics, and potential health benefits, continue reading to find out all there is to know about this fascinating fish!
What Kind of Fish is Dorado?
The dorado is a relatively small fish that lives in tropical and subtropical waters. Often confused with the mahi-mahi fish, dorado is one of many varieties of fish that comes from tropical waters around Central and South America. Like salmon, it belongs to a family of fish called cods.
Although it has a variety of names depending on its location in the world (mahimahi in Hawai’i, dolphinfish in Florida), it’s also often referred to as dolphinfish because its body shape is similar to dolphins. A member of Order Perciformes, its scientific name is Coryphaena hippurus.
There are more than 400 species of dorado, so you can be sure that there are quite a few subspecies. Most of these fish tend to dwell in clear and warm waters in areas near reefs and sandy shores. However, most of them also reside at greater depths as well, generally between 150 and 600 feet below sea level.
Of all saltwater fish species available commercially today, they are among some of the most popular choices due to their mild flavor and high nutritional value. Plus, they have long been considered a delicacy within their native regions.
Dorado vs. Mahi-Mahi
Many people think that dorado and mahi-mahi are interchangeable names for a similar fish, but they’re actually completely different species. A member of the snoek family, dorado is a much larger fish than its close relative.
It grows up to 100 pounds and reaches 8 feet in length. It’s also not a very common fish, which is why it isn’t as well-known as other types of tuna. In general, you won’t see people selling dorado as often as they sell its more commonly used sister species.
The dorado is frequently referred to as a dolphin but that can be confusing since there are many species that go by that name. For example, you might see it called mahimahi or dolphinfish.
The confusion over what exactly constitutes dorado extends even further because while some people use dorado interchangeably with dolphin fish, others reserve dorado for only one type of dolphin fish, the kind found in Mexico and Central America.
To add yet another layer of confusion to all these names, some people refer to a completely different type of fish altogether when they say dorado. That’s because dorado is also used as slang for goldfish!
What Does a Dorado Fish Look Like?
What is dorado fish and what does it look like? In terms of physical characteristics, all dorados have very similar features. The name dorado comes from Spanish, where it means golden.
Despite its name, however, dorado isn’t just yellow-colored: the entire fish has an iridescent appearance and can change shades throughout each day based on lighting conditions and mood (scientists believe yellow may act as camouflage when viewing against sunlight).
Like most mackerel family members, dorado enjoys a diet consisting mainly of small fish like sardines and anchovies.
Although neither is considered at risk for extinction at present time, both can be fished intensively by humans due to their high market value.
How to Catch Dorado Fish
While most fish are caught in tropical and subtropical waters, dorado can be found in both. It’s one of only a few that can live in both freshwater and saltwater. Usually, it’s found between 20 and 35 degrees north latitude and 20 and 30 degrees south latitude.
If you know where to look for it, you might find a great opportunity for dorado fishing or snorkeling with friends! In addition to its ability to survive in freshwater and saltwater, it also thrives at different depths. Most fish stay within 200 feet of the surface, but dorado can dive as deep as 1,000 feet.
Fishing for dorado can be a real challenge because these tropical fish swim around deep waters and move quickly. They’re attracted to shiny objects (like lures) and large schools of baitfish. To catch dorado, you need a lot of patience and good fishing techniques.
Try using artificial lures that are as close in color as possible to their natural prey, like threadfin herring or plastic shrimp. Also, use your boat’s trolling motor with batteries when you’re on flat water so that you don’t scare them away.
We recommend setting out multiple lures or baits if there are no other pontoon boats nearby. If one of them seems interested, it may circle back and try another!
How Does Dorado Taste?
While some people claim dorado tastes like a combination of fish and chicken, it actually has a unique flavor that’s hard to describe. And unlike many other types of seafood, most folks agree that it doesn’t have an ocean taste.
Since you’re probably looking at dorado because it’s a meaty, white fish with a mild flavor that goes well with just about anything, you might be surprised to learn it’s one of the most nutritious fish in existence.
Specifically, dorado provides more than twice as much heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than Chilean sea bass and five times as much protein as tilapia. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium.
The dorado is a fish that’s best enjoyed when eaten fried. Pan-frying or oven baking are both safe and delicious ways to prepare them.
For added flavor, you can use spices like salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder before frying them. Just be sure not to eat them on an empty stomach since they can make you hungry very quickly!
With all that going for it, eating dorado instead of other high-protein white fishes, which are higher in mercury, is actually very healthy for you. And dorado has more calcium than most other foods on the market.
Hopefully, this post has answered the question, what is dorado fish.
There are plenty more studies and research reports online about this fascinating fish but the most important thing you need to understand for now is that the dorado is one of those must-try delicacies to add to your bucket list.