More than One Way to Skin a Dolphin
In the laid-back Florida Keys, any name — mahimahi, dorado, dolphin or the recently-invogue dolphinfish — is perfectly fine, but whatever they call
Coryphaena hippurus, Keys captains have strong opinions on how to skin them.
“I pull the skin. It’s easier,” Lewis says. He makes a shallow cut around the perimeter of the fillet, then grabs the front upper corner of skin with pliers, and pulls. “The membrane that’s left behind is gone once you cook it. If it’s a large bull with tough skin, split the fillet along the spine, and pull it off in two pieces.”
“I never pull the skin. It makes the meat bitter,” Weinhofer says, because, he maintains, the flavor stays in the fillet even after the white, fibrous skin membrane cooks away. He prefers instead to run a wide, sharp knife parallel to the cleaning table, not angled down toward the skin as when skinning most species.
“It’s just as fast to cut off the skin,” Navarro says. “The fillet looks better, and pulling the skin makes a huge mess. It takes practice though.”