From The Galley: Marinade Serinade II - The Fisherman

From The Galley: Marinade Serinade II

Mike Henderson with a citation wahoo caught off of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

A marinade that’s sure to land on your favorites list.

While there is no known origin as to where wahoo got its name, legend has it that European explorers were the first to conjure the name when they arrived on the Hawaiian Islands during their first expeditions. They found an abundance of this vividly blue fish off the coast of Oahu.  Streamlined and built like a torpedo, this fish could grow up to 8 feet in length and swim a staggering 60 mph. And when the explorers were finally able to land one of these beasts, they found them to be delicious as well!  As they charted the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu was referred to as “Wahoo” on the European maps. This could very well be the origin of its name. And I always thought that the name came from what people screamed out when their downriggers got crushed on the troll!

We were fortunate enough to find not only wahoo, but big wahoo on a trip to North Carolina.  Flash forward to a meal out at an Afghan restaurant, and the idea of an unconventional seafood marinade was born.

Wahoo marinating in an Afghan blend of spices.


1 ½ – 2 pounds of wahoo (steaks or half steaks with skin recommended. Swordfish and Striped Bass are good alternatives)

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Zest from one lemon

1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro

3 crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Grilled wahoo accompanied with roasted zucchini, grilled corn and scallion rice.


Step 1

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro and seasonings in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Pat wahoo steaks dry with a paper towel.

Step 3

Place single layer of wahoo steaks in casserole dish and coat them with the marinade.  Flip with steaks with fork and repeat.  Be generous with the marinade and use a dish that holds the steaks snuggly.

Step 4

Let steaks marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Step 5

Scrub the grates of your grill and brush with oil, then preheat to medium-high.

Step 6

Place steaks on the grill and cook on each side for about 4 minutes per inch of thickness.  Adjust to your preference. Wahoo is served rare and with a good char on the outside.  (Note-since the marinade is oil based, the steaks could start flaming.  Have a spray bottle with water nearby to manage the flames if necessary).

This Medley of Afghan seasonings does not overpower the fish and will be sure to land in your score of saved recipes!



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