Wahoo. More than a playful expression, wahoo also happens to be a culinary delicacy. Found in tropical and temperate waters across the globe, wahoo belongs to the scombrid family of fish, which are known to be predators of the open ocean. And like other scombrid species, such as mackerel and tuna, wahoo is prized for its wonderful flavor and firm yet flaky texture.
Wahoo is a special catch, and something you won’t find on restaurant menus very often. It is, however, the kind of fish that recreational anglers love to target. For anglers in the Miami area, that means motoring down to the Bahamas to do some high-speed trolling.
For this recipe, we catch up with Peter Miller, Mercury Pro Team member, three-time sailfish champion and Emmy-nominated host of Uncharted Waters with Peter Miller, as he pairs this sweet, mild fish with the salty allure of bacon and the brightness of a fresh, homemade mango salsa before plating on top of a bed of jasmine rice.
- 1 ½ pounds wahoo
- 1 mango
- 1 lemon
- ½ onion
- ½ jalapeño
- 10-15 cilantro leaves
- 1 ⅓ cups jasmine rice
- Parsley to taste
You’ll also want some wooden toothpicks.
Like many other memorable recipes, this one isn’t particularly difficult to execute, but with four components (fish, bacon, salsa and rice), it does require some shrewd timing on your part. So that you don’t have to juggle these steps simultaneously, consider preparing the bacon and salsa ahead of time.
Cooking the Bacon
Because you’ll be wrapping the bacon around the wahoo medallions, don’t cook the bacon until it’s crispy.
To create chewy, evenly cooked strips that are easy to wrap around your fish, place the bacon in a skillet with just enough water to cover it, and cook it on high until the water starts to boil.
Then, turn down the heat to medium-high. After allowing the water to cook completely off, turn the heat down to medium and cook the bacon until it is nicely browned. Remove from the pan and place on some paper towels to soak up the excess grease.
Making the Mango Salsa
Get started by chopping the mango into small, bite-sized pieces and placing into a bowl. Then, chop your onion and jalapeño and add them to the bowl as well. Next, squeeze the juice of one lemon and one lime on top. Mince approximately 10-15 cilantro leaves and add them to your bowl. Using a spoon, mix all the ingredients together, cover and chill.
Cooking the Rice
With your bacon and salsa prepared, you can now get the rice started.
Cooking instructions for rice vary, so follow the directions on your package of rice. For four servings, 1 1/3 cups of dry rice should be adequate, but you can certainly adjust that if you like.
After you get your rice started, it’s time to cut the wahoo into medallions.
Get started by removing the bloodline. To do this, cut right against the bloodline and roll your knife over the skin until you reach the end. Because the skin is quite thin, try not to get too close, otherwise the skin will stick to your fish. Repeat these same steps on the other side of your fish so that you end up with two nice pieces of wahoo.
Next, cut each piece of fish into serving-sized medallions and pour a little olive oil on the top of each one. Be sure to rub all sides of the medallions with a little olive oil. Then, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the top of each one. Flip them over and do the same on the other side – sprinkling a little salt and pepper on each.
Now is a good time to check your rice. Once it is finished cooking, remove it from the heat, but keep the lid on so it stays moist and hot.
With your rice cooked and your wahoo seasoned, secure a piece of bacon around each of the six medallions with toothpicks, one on each end. Then, heat up a pan over medium-high heat, and add a thin coating of olive oil. Put the medallions into the pan and sear them for four minutes on each side. After you’ve cooked both sides, it’s time to remove them from the pan.
Next, make six serving-sized jasmine rice beds by packing some rice into a small bowl. Carefully remove the rice from each bowl and place one on each plate. Put your nicely browned wahoo medallions on top of the rice, and finish with a dollop of mango salsa. As a nice flourish, you can place a piece of parsley on top of each serving.
And there you have it – seared wahoo medallions with bacon, fresh mango salsa and jasmine rice. A combination of tantalizing flavors, textures and temperatures sure to please even the most discerning of palates.