For an easy healthy fish dinner, Blackened Mahi Mahi is the star of the show. Mahi-mahi is a firm flaky fish with a slightly sweet taste. The blackened seasoning balances out the flavors and gives the fish its dark rich coloring. The avocado-cilantro-lime sauce makes all the other flavors harmonize.
💭 Why We Love This Recipe
It Comes Together Quickly. The blackened mahi mahi can be seasoned, pan fried and ready to eat in under 20 minutes.
Blackened Seasoning. The herbs and seasonings used in this recipe are all common pantry ingredients. Don't be discouraged about the long list of ingredients for the blackened seasoning. The recipe can be made ahead of time, and in larger quantities. It stores well for up to a year and is delicious on other fish and chicken too.
Healthy. Mahi Mahi is an excellent source of lean protein. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium.
Avocado Cilantro Sauce adds a fabulous complement of flavors to the sweet and blackened mahi mahi. You can make this sauce up to 3 days ahead of time. It makes a delicious sauce for these Fish Tacos too.
🐟 What is Mahi Mahi?
What kind of fish is it? Mahi Mahi is a delicious firm white fish. Mahi mahi is also known as dorado fish or dolphin fish.
What is blackened mahi mahi? A blackened refers to a mixture of seasonings that has a spicy twist. Blackened seasoning is somewhere along the taste spectrum from Cajun to Creole seasoning. Blackened as a cooking method means adding butter to the cooking to create a darker finish when combined with the peppery seasoning.
What does blackened mahi mahi taste like? Mahi Mahi has great flavor and doesn't taste 'fishy'. It has a slightly stronger taste than tilapia but far less than salmon. When blackened, mahi-mahi is spicier because of the paprika, pepper and cayenne pepper. Blackened Mahi Mahi also takes on a breadth of tastes because of the addition of several herbs and spices.
- Blackened Seasoning Ingredients. Onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Mahi Mahi. You will need a 6-ounce fillet of mahi-mahi per person. The fish will shrink about 20 to 25 percent with sautéing, so you will be left with approximately 4.5 ounces of fish per adult. You will also use a combination of butter and oil for pan frying,
- Sauce. For the avocado-cilantro-lime sauce, you will need avocado, cilantro leaves, kosher salt, lime juice and water to blend your sauce.
- A large heavy-bottomed skillet for pan frying the blackened mahi mahi and a food processor or blender to blend the ingredients for the Avocado Sauce.
🔪 How to Make Mahi Mahi
- Start with good quality fish. Select mahi mahi that looks fairly translucent so you are getting fresh fish. The flesh should also be wet and glossy. This means that the fish has been handled properly and is not old.
- Pat your fish dry with a paper towel. Then, combine the blackened seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. You will want to press the seasoning firmly on to the mahi mahi fillets.
- Melt butter and heat oil in a large skillet or a cast iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the mahi mahi. This will give your fish a good sear and prevent it from sticking to the pan.
- Cook the blackened mahi mahi on one side until it releases from the pan easily before flipping it over. Cook on the other side until the mahi mahi is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
💭 Cooks Tips
- Buy fish that is looks wet and glossy and almost transparent.
- Choose U.S. wild-caught Mahi-Mahi so we can continue to enjoy this delicious fish. It is considered a 'smart seafood choice' by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
- Don't be afraid to adjust the blackening seasoning to your preferences. A tiny bit more or less of cayenne or paprika can make a big difference in how you enjoy your blackened mahi mahi.
- Dry the fillets so the butter and seasonings adhere to the fish better and sear nicely.
- When sautéing, wait for the fish to release easily from the pan before turning over. Testing the fish with your tongs will tell you if they are ready to turn. An easy release means that the blackened mahi mahi is perfectly seared on one side and it also will not break apart.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
- Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Sautéed Broccoli with Garlic (5 Ingredients)
- Instant Pot Risotto (Always Perfect)
- Easy Sautéed Green Beans with Brown Butter and Almonds
Grilled Blackened Mahi Mahi: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates with the oil Before step 2, melt the butter and brush the fillets with butter. Press the blackened seasoning on to the fish. In step 3, add the fillets to the hot grill instead of the skillet. The cooking times, steps and doneness checks are the same. Continue with the remaining steps.
Baked Blackened Mahi Mahi: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Before step 2, melt the butter and brush the fillets with butter. Press the blackened seasoning on to the fish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Continue with remaining steps.
Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos: Follow the steps for grilling, baking of pan frying blackened mahi mahi. Cut the fish into chunks, add to warmed tortillas, top with Cabbage Slaw for Tacos, and drizzle with the Avocado-Cilantro Sauce.
Remoulade Sauce. Use this creamy sauce in place of the Avocado Cilantro Sauce. You can make your own or use a store-bought brand. One of my favorites is this Louisiana Remoulade Sauce.
🧾 More Easy Fish Recipes
- Baked Tilapia (Super Quick and Easy Dinner)
- Pan Fried Cod With an Herb Butter Sauce
- Baked Cod Recipe (One Dish and 15 Minutes)
- Oven Baked Salmon (Ready in Under 30 Minutes)
- Instant Pot Salmon for Two (5 Ingredients)
📋 Blackened Mahi Mahi Recipe
- 1-½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper approximately
- 4 mahi mahi fillets each approximately 6 ounces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Lime juice
- ½ cup water approximate
- In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Using paper towels, gently pat mahi mahi fillets dry.
- Generously season the fillets on one side and press seasoning onto the fish. Turn fillets over and repeat seasoning on the second side.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and oil and heat until butter has melted and oil is shimmering. Add the fillets to the skillet and cook, undisturbed, for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fish releases readily from the pan. Turn fillets and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
- Transfer fillets to serving plates. Serve with lemon wedges.
Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- In a food processor or blender, add the avocado, cilantro leaves, kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon lime juice. Blend ingredients. Continue blending, slowly adding in the water through the tube, until sauce is your desired consistency. Add more lime juice to taste.