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Suggestions for Mahi Mahi?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about most fish and how to treat them but mahi mahi has got me stumped. Maybe I'm just too used to local types of white fish in my area (haddock, cod, flounder, halibut etc.) to appreciate mahi or maybe I just ordered a bad piece. It was gross to be honest. Dry, didn't taste like fish, more akin to a mix of well done tuna, chicken and cat food.


What temperature should this fish be taken to? I'm assuming to treat it like sword (medium well or just very slightly past) correct? What should a fresh quality piece look like? Whats the flavor profile on a fresh mahi mahi fillet and please do not tell me "it tastes like cod" like the waitress said this wasn't remotely close to cod! Sides that go well with mahi?


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 13

I curious to understand how it is you know what "cat food" tastes like. My daughter has two cats and I can't even get near a can due to smell!


Anyhow, I prefer to use Pacific Mahi Mahi allbeit both that, and Atlantic are a bit oily for my taste. As far as temp, after starting work in Atlanta almost 30 years ago, I prefer to not serve fish well done. The standard back then was med or just above since anything past allows the fish to get too dry. Maybe that's some of the problem with your experience. Writing from memory, I've never served it in "steak" form only filets. I would always cut the filet on a double bias to mimic the tail portion since that was the cut most people believed was the best. The flesh should be light redish brown to redish tan, almost translucent but not near a dark brown. There are specks of red, like lines on a hwy running the length of the filet on each side. On fresh pieces, these are a nice red but they disappear and become that dark brown I mentioned the longer the filet sits around. This is where the fish loses it's "sweet" flavor and can become bitter. Beef you age; not seafood, chicken or pork.


The bones are easily removed with a pliers and tend to be in the center fold of the filet. Be careful not to mangle this area because that can cause the fish to "split apart". I've done some cuts that were not a double bias and the best way to explain how it looks is picture an old tyme mustache. The fish should smell "sweet" with no other odors.


There have been many ways I've seen and served it. Given my exposure was more "Pacific" in nature, I tended to keep that theme although there are several methods. My favorites are;  


With a mango beurre blanc

Macadamia nut crusted with a fresh tropical fruit salsa

Topped with Ponchatrain sauce (substituted for Red Drum)

Marinated in Pineapple juice, lemon Juice, ginger, garlic and soy and served as a sandwich

Sesame Ginger crusted

Roasted with garlic and Ginger and served in a miso broth

and finally, Blackened (again substituted for Red Drum)


Sides are paired with whatever the preparation method;


Basmati or Jasmine rice, Roasted Maui Sweet onions, roasted Maui purple potatoes, dirty rice, grilled vegetables, Baby bok choy and shiitaki mushrooms (this went best with the garlic, ginger, miso prep and served with Jasmine rice). Anyhow, it's up to you and your tastes or what you believe the customer base will respond to. 

post #3 of 13

S&P, REALLY hot grill, med to med rare, washbi & shoyu (served with-not shown-sticky steamed white rice and veg of your choice) ONO!!!  ALOHA!

post #4 of 13

I wouldn't take any fish past medium.


Mahi, the possibilities are limitless, it lends itself to caribbean style flavors, but that may just be a by product of where the fish is generally found.

post #5 of 13

Great grilled. Agree with all the fruit salsa and other suggestions so far. I have only used/eaten Pacific mahi so I have no clue how it compares to Atlantic mahi. I find fresh Pacific mahi to be only slightly "steaky" in texture, somewhere between swordfish and halibut. The best fish taco I ever ate was made from a simple grilled mahi fillet right out of the Pacific on a homemade corn tortilla with pineapple jalapeno salsa and a cabbage slaw, from Point Loma seafood in San Diego. Incredible.

Edited by Brandon ODell - 3/27/13 at 7:20pm

Brandon O'Dell


Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting



Brandon O'Dell


Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting


post #6 of 13

Grilled to medium and seasoned really well Mahi Mahi is exceptional. In my experience with it, it absorbs the seasonings you put on it really well. Maybe a nice tropical relish on top or a simple tomato sauce, it pairs really well with a lot.

post #7 of 13

id have to agree with all these suggestions.   the sword and halibut comparison is dead on.   mahi to me takes on flavors super well.   from pineapple salsa,to sauted vegetables in a lemon berblanch.   id make sure it had just a bit of olive oil,salt,pep,and garlic before grilling,so as to activate its natural flavors and help those flavors stand up when topping is added to it.

post #8 of 13

probably  the second biggest seller her in South Florida. Its oily so go with a tropical fruit salsa or light acid based like tomato liquor or boullion.coullis. people think its a dolphin like flipper so they wont eat  but t it isn't

post #9 of 13

IMO mahi/dolphin/dorado can have a tendency to be dry so it benefits greatly from 'wet' cooking such as a Vera Cruz style or with a broth such as saffron, and also as ceviche. It is a mild tasting  white-pinkish fish which takes to any cooking method or flavor really well, and is nothing like is more like monkfish in that it is flakes big when cooked. More akin to halibut then swordfish, and even more so to grouper, again, IMO... I like it best pan seared with jerk seasoning, blackened or grilled in a sandwich with matouks West Indian hot sauce.  It is 'over the moon' good in fish tacos.  as with any fish, it should only be just cooked through.....barely but still slightly jiggly in the middle

as far as sides, it depends on the flavor profile you choose, but  i like it best with some sort of slaw. With blackened, jerk or on a sandwich i like a vinaigrette type of cole slaw.  with asian flavors a quick slaw stir fry topped with a carrot sambal.  with a broth or sauce, a grain and  a quicky quick vegetable saute of fine julienned zucchini, summer squash and carrots....among my most favorites is to pair any 'spiced' fish with fresh  summer fruit  salsas...


a few years back when I was a boat 'cookie' we were docked in point loma for a month for some repairs and refitting.  lots of good time was spent in point loma seafood...that place rocks!



Edited by durangojo - 3/20/13 at 10:01pm

food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #10 of 13
Cut into 2x2 logs roll in blackening spice and sear on all sides to med rare. Let cool then slice thin place over a bed of finely shredded cabbage and drizzle with wasabi mayo and ginger soy reduction and a small side of mango salsa.
post #11 of 13

cut it in 4x4inch pieces.make a seasoning of : lime juice,salt,black pepper,white wine.season mahi mahi with it,be generous.dry macadamia nuts in oven,THEN crush them roughly.put mahi mahi in a pan,and macadamia nuts on top of it.Use convectomate oven for this operation,steam roast on 340 deg farenheit around 11-12 minutes or reach 140 on your thermometer.145 is border point of cooking fish,raw meat etc.leave for it to rest,for 2 more minutes.sweet potato mash and morel mushroom sauce is a winner.cheers.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Cooked the mahi to medium, tasted great! Wasn't dry or akin to well done tuna at all. I think the piece I ordered was really killed and not the freshest! We did a Mexican influenced version and everyone loved it (except that one guy who didn't like the cilantro garnish! WTF?)

post #13 of 13
There's usually one in every group. If all he could complain about was a friggin garnish you definitely did a good job. Dont count his OPINION as valid. Just my honest opinion.
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