Orange Roughy, Mahi Mahi, and Finnan Haddie – Funny Names, Serious Flavor


While fish like the Orange Roughy, Mahi Mahi, and Finnan Haddie may have funny sounding names, their delicious flavor is certainly no joke. While they are popular around the world, from Asia, to Australia, to Europe, to right here in Connecticut, these are three fish that are fast becoming well-known classics on a global level.

The first of these fish that we’ll be discussing is the Orange Roughy. The Orange Roughy, which is also known as “Red Roughy” or “Deep Sea Perch” is frequently found in colder waters, usually living in areas of the sea that average between 37 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit.(1) They are a very long-lived fish, with many of them reach up into their 130s and 140s. They get their name from their orange/yellow color, though few people who aren’t avid fishermen know that they don’t actually possess this hue until after they die. When living out in the wild, they have a deep brick red color that is unparalleled by any other fish.

For a commercially caught fish, the Orange Roughy is on the smaller side, usually being 30 inches or less in length and achieving a typical weight of 15lbs or lower. They prefer rocky habitats and are often found along the ocean floor or in caves/canyons under the sea.(1) When cooked and prepared for consumption, Orange Roughy have a mild flavor that is vaguely sweet and possess a somewhat firm texture as compared to other saltwater fish. Here’s an Orange Roughy recipe we recommend:

Orange Roughy Recipe – Spicy Fried Orange Roughy

(Recipe Courtesy of

Ingredients: 4 Orange Roughy Fillets, 1 Egg, 2 Tbsp Honey Mustard, ¾ cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs, 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, and  3 tsp Olive Oil


  1. Mix the eggs and honey together in a mixing bowl
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper in a sealed bag
  3. Dip the fillets in the egg mixture, and then cover it in the breadcrumbs
  4. Refrigerate for ½ hour
  5. Heat in vegetable or peanut in a large pan and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side (2

For More Orange Roughy Recipes, you can visit

Another scrumptious ocean fish with an unusual name is Mahi Mahi. Mahi Mahi, also known as Common Dolphinfish (though they are of no relation to dolphins) are usually found near the surface of warm oceanic waters. Their unique name is from a Hawaiian phrase meaning “Very Strong”.(3)Unlike the Orange Roughy, Mahi Mahi are one of the fastest maturing commercial fish and have short life spans, usually only living 4 to 5 years. They are a very brightly colored and visually appealing fish, possessing bright gold on their lower side area and bright green and blue on their backs and upper side area.(3)

Mahi Mahi are found in many locations around the globe, including such aquatic settings as the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They are noted for their mild flavor, which features a subtle nutty undertaste. If you’re looking for Mahi Mahi in CT, you won’t have to look long as they are found in many restaurants as well as right here at Atlantic Seafood. Here’s a favorite Mahi Mahi recipe from Rachel Ray:

Mahi Mahi Recipe: Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

(Recipe Courtesy of Food Network)

1/4 cup canola oil, 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, 1 small or medium red onion, 1/4 finely chopped with the remainder thinly sliced, 1 garlic clove, minced or grated, 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained, 1 teaspoon ground cumin,  Salt and pepper, 1/2 cup mango chutney, 2 limes, 2 tablespoons hot sauce, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 handful of fresh cilantro finely chopped,  1/2 medium head of shredded cabbage,  4  6 oz. Mahi Mahi fillets, 1 tablespoon grill seasoning,  8 corn tortilla taco shells, 8 flour tortillas, and 1 cup of creme fraiche


  1. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the jalapeno, finely chopped red onion, and garlic. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add the beans and cumin and mash together.
  2. Season the beans with salt and pepper and fold in the chutney. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm, stirring now and then to keep them from burning. If the beans dry out before you are ready to use them add a splash of water.
  3. Zest one of the limes and set aside. Combine the juice of both limes, the hot sauce, honey, 2 tablespoons of the canola oil, salt, and pepper with the sliced onions, cilantro and shredded cabbage. Toss to combine.
  4. Heat an outdoor grill to medium or preheat the broiler. Season the fish with the remaining tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons of lime zest and the grill seasoning. Cook the fish on the grill with the lid closed or under the broiler for 8 minutes total, until cooked through, turning once.
  5. Crisp the taco shells and blister the tortillas on the grill or in the oven. Glue the softened flour tortillas onto the crisp taco shells with a few spoonfuls of mashed black beans. Fill each tortilla-wrapped taco shell with half a piece of fish, flaked, and top with some cabbage slaw and creme fraiche.(4)

For more Mahi Mahi Recipes you can visit

The last irresistible seafood item we’ll be discussing today is Finnan Haddie. While not an actual fish in and of itself, Finnan Haddie is a beloved classic in Scotland and is a tame and tasty alternative for those of you who may not be up to taking on haggis. Finnan Haddie is a form of Haddock, which is caught in the deep, cold waters of the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Baltic Sea and is commonly eaten in areas such as Scotland, Norway, and in Baltic countries such as Estonia and Latvia. It traces its origins to Aberdeen in Scotland where it remains wildly popular to this day.

Finnan Haddie is ideally made from fatty, large Haddock that are freshly caught and brought to shore.(5) After being caught, Finnan Haddie ceases to be plain, regular Haddock when it is smoked. Smoking it is known to bring out its meltingly tender(5) and rich taste, which is often described as being very buttery. Finnan Haddie is cold smoked, which means that during its smoking, it is not fully cooked and never exposed to temperatures greater than 100 degrees.

In Scotland, it is then traditionally cooked by way of being poached in milk and then being topped with a cream sauce. If that’s not your style, don’t worry since it is also commonly mined and placed in fish chowders or broiled and topped with butter. If you find yourself with a craving for Finnan Haddie in CT, you can pick some up from us and try your hand at preparing it in the following recipe:

Finnan Haddie Recipe: Eggs Benedict with Smoked Haddock (Finnan Haddie)

(Recipe of Maine Finnan Haddie)

1/2 cup of Hollandaise Sauce, 1 lb Finnan Haddie, 10 fl oz milk, 3 bay leaves,  2 slices onion, 6 black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 4 eggs, 2 English muffins, Coarsely crushed black peppercorns, and a few chopped chives for a garnish.


  1. Make the hollandaise sauce and keep it warm, off the heat over a pan of warm water.  Bring the milk and 10 fl oz of water to boil in a shallow pan.
  2. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, onions and smoked haddock pieces, bring back to simmer and poach for 4 minutes. Lift out the haddock onto a plate, peel off the skin and keep warm.
  3. Bring about 2 inches of water to the boil in a medium sized pan, add the vinegar and reduce to a gentle simmer.  Break the eggs into the pan one at a time and poach for 3 minutes.
  4. Slice the muffins in half and toast them until lightly browned.  Lift the poached eggs out with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on kitchen paper.
  5. To serve, place the muffin halves on 4 warm plates and top with the haddock and poached eggs, spoon
    over the hollandaise sauce and garnish with a sprinkling of crushed black pepper and chopped chives.(6)

For more Finnan Haddie Recipes, you can visit Maine Finnan Haddie.

Works Cited
1.Orange Roughy – Delicacy From the Deep
Starfish Resources, 2007

2. Orange Roughy Recipes

3.Common Dolphinfish

Ray, Rachel
My-Oh-Mahi! That’s a Good Fish Taco!

5.Finnan Haddie
Mackenzie Limited

6. Finnan Haddie Recipes

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