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Grilled Mahi-Mahi Is My Secret to Speedy Weeknight Meals

Grilled Mahi-Mahi Is My Secret to Speedy Weeknight Meals

By Patty Catalano

My secret to adding more quick-cooking meals to my dinner queue might not be what you would expect. Instead of relying on prepared produce or shortcut sauces, I put fish — specifically mahi-mahi — front and center. Here, mahi-mahi fillets are rubbed with a simple spice mixture then cooked hot and fast on the grill and served with a juicy fresh mango salsa. The tender and moist fish takes extremely well to grilling, which adds a layer of smoky flavor, while keeping the recipe simple and straightforward.

What is Mahi-Mahi?

mahi-mahi is a firm white fish. I like to think of it as the chicken breast of the ocean. Like its poultry counterpart, mahi-mahi is lean, quick-cooking, and can be seasoned many ways. Since this fish is lean, it doesn’t have the fishy flavor of fattier fish.

mahi-mahi is fished from warmer ocean waters, including the coasts of Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch considers mahi-mahi a “Best Choice” among sustainable seafood options.

What Is the Best Way to Prepare Mahi-Mahi?

mahi-mahi is a firm fish that can be prepared on the stovetop, under the broiler, or fried. My preferred way to prepare mahi-mahi, though, is on the grill. The flavor of the fish is mild and not fishy, making it the perfect canvas for your favorite spice rubs and seasonings. This recipe calls for an all-purpose rub made from common pantry spices that include:

Freshly ground black pepper

How Do You Know When Mahi-Mahi Is Done?

Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F. You can check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each fillet. Check early to avoid over-cooking. You can also tell the fish is done when the interior of the fish transitions from translucent to opaque and it flakes easily with a fork.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Grilled Mahi-Mahi?

Set the table and prepare your side dishes before placing the mahi-mahi on the grill. Serve the fish immediately and top with a generous serving of the fresh mango salsa. Add a scoop of coconut rice or cauliflower rice and grilled veggies to the plate, or stuff the fish and salsa into warm corn or flour tortillas.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Mango Salsa

Serves 4


1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (5- to 7-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets, thawed if frozen
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill
1 large, ripe mango (about 1 pound)
1/2 medium orange or red bell pepper
1/4 small red onion
1/2 small jalapeno pepper
1 medium lime
8 sprigs fresh cilantro


1. Place 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pat 4 mahi-mahi fillets dry with paper towels and place on the baking sheet. Rub the fillets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season all over with the spice mixture. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the mango salsa. Meanwhile, heat an outdoor grill for medium, direct heat.

3. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Peel, pit, and finely dice 1 large mango (about 1 3/4 cups). Finely dice 1/2 medium orange or red bell pepper (about 2/3 cup) and 1/4 small red onion (about 1/4 cup). Remove the seeds and membranes from 1/2 small jalapeno pepper (leave seeds and membranes intact for a spicier salsa), then mince (about 1 tablespoon). Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lime (about 1 tablespoon), then juice the lime until you have 2 tablespoons. Finely chop 8 fresh cilantro sprigs until you have 2 tablespoons. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and stir to combine.

4. Scrape the grill grates clean if needed. Oil the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in olive oil. Place the fish on the grill grates. Cover and grill until the bottoms turn opaque and a flat spatula can slide underneath the fish with little resistance, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fish, cover, and grill until almost completely opaque and the thickest part registers at least 145 F, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove and discard the foil on the baking sheet. Place the cooked fish on the now-clean baking sheet. Serve with the mango salsa.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover mahi-mahi and salsa can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to two days.
Make ahead: The mango salsa can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

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