This large fish with a long, rounded, spear-like upper jaw is available wild-caught. It is a nomadic marine fish found in the open ocean right around the Australian coast; it hunts near the surface, mainly at night. It is caught only as bycatch, mainly by tuna longliners off the east and west coasts. Though similar in appearance to swordfish it is easily distinguished by its shorter, rounded ‘spear’ and scaled skin.
Buying Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin is usually sold as steaks. Look for reddish-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Storing Striped Marlin
Lay in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.
Cooking Striped Marlin
Average yield is 60% from trunks. Has a medium flavour, medium-high oiliness and dry, firm flesh with large flakes. Overcooked it quickly becomes dry. The thick skin should be removed. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.
Striped Marlin Cooking Methods
Pan-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi). It is best wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.
Striped Marlin goes well with:
Anchovies, capsicum, chilli, citrus, garlic, ginger, green onions, mirin, olives, olive oil, onion, sesame oil, tomato, soy sauce, vinegar, wasabi.
STRIPED MARLIN SUBSTITUTES
- Albacore – Sold whole, but more commonly as cutlets or steaks and sometimes as smoked fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for red, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
- Bonito – Usually sold whole, though fishmongers will fillet it upon request; also sometimes available as sashimi. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell; flesh should be pale reddish (pale pink to white in Leaping Bonito), firm, lustrous and moist without any dull brown markings or oozing water. Always buy sashimi-grade fish if it is to be served raw or rare.
- Swordfish – Usually sold as steaks, but also sometimes as cutlets or sashimi. Look for cream-pale pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
- Tuna – Tuna is usually sold as steaks, cutlets or sliced as sashimi. Look for pinkish red to burgundy flesh (colour varies with species and cut) that is firm, lustrous and moist without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Always buy sashimi-grade fish if it is to be served raw or rare.
- Mackerel, especially Spanish Mackerel, can make a good alternative when grilling or barbecuing. The strong oily flesh can handle strong flavours to accompany, especially when charred on a BBQ. Popular accompaniments include olives, roasted vegetables, garlic and herbs.
- Mahi Mahi – a large gamefish with similar “meaty” flesh to that of swordfish and marlin. It is a more sustainable alternative, well suited to preparations including grilling, barbecuing, and use in soups or curries.