Hawaiian Kajiki (Blue Marlin)
Hawaiian: Kajiki, A‘u
Common: Blue Marlin
Scientific: Makaira nigricans
General Info: Hawaiian Kajiki
Hawaiian blue marlin, a.k.a. kajiki is the second species of marlin landed by our boats. Like striped marlin, blue marlin is an iconic Hawaiian billfish, with a similar, although distinct flavor/texture profile. Once cooked however, it’s hard to tell the difference. In the sport fishing world, Hawaii is known to be a mecca for this species and kajiki is often what comes to mind when people think of marlin. While not as colorful as the striped marlin, kajiki are more robust and tend to be larger (80 - 300+ lbs range). Kajiki is an island favorite and local staple here in Hawaii. It’s common in poke, local catch dinner specials, and of course as a smoked fish.
Front of House Info:
Kajiki is commonly known as blue marlin and is one of two marlin species caught in Hawaiian waters and enjoyed as an island staple.
Kajiki has a mild flavor profile and cooks to a firm and flaky white meat.
Many consider kajiki to be an even better grilling fish than swordfish. It is nearly as firm, but tends to have a more delicate taste.
Back of House Info:
Kajiki tends to be a light pinkish color and it’s typically the firmest in texture of the billfish up there with swordfish.
Loins tend to be larger than striped marlin and firmer in texture.
Kajiki’s firmness makes it a desirable for certain raw preparations like ceviche as well as grilling/ broiling.
The difference between nairagi (striped marlin) and kajiki (blue marlin) is kind of like the difference between yellowfin and bigeye tuna in that to a less discerning palate they may be indistinguishable. Much easier to discern when raw.
Hawaiian blue marlin is not being overfished and considered to be a sustainable choice by Seafood Watch. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S.A. where marlin can legally be landed commercially.