grilled mahi mahi

Honey Lime Grilled Mahi Mahi

I have to admit that when I hear fish the first thing that comes to mind is Fried Catfish. In the south Fried Catfish is a staple and my home state of Mississippi is known world-wide for producing the best grain fed catfish in the world.

But we also know a little something about cooking other types of fish too, and today I want to share with you my recipe for grilling Mahi Mahi.

Mahi Mahi is also known as Dorado or the dophinfish… and no it’s not the same animal as “flipper”. The meat is firm and flakey with a slight sweet flavor, and it has the perfect texture for grilling.

You can find Mahi Mahi in just about any grocery store or fish market these days. I try to buy it fresh, right out of the seafood counter when possible, but chances are it has been froze at some point according to my fish monger. The best advise here is to give it a smell before you buy it….this goes for any fish…If there’s a “fishy” smell steer clear of it. Good fish shouldn’t smell like fish at all.

Like most fish, Mahi Mahi cooks fast on the grill. Medium High heat is perfect for fish. But before the cooking starts there’s a little prep work.

By itself Mahi Mahi is pretty light tasting, I like to add some flavor to it with a marinade and my own version of a Blackened seasoning. I also give it a quick glaze at the end to finish it off.

For the marinade you need:

  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 TBS Oil (Olive, Vegetable, or Canola will work)
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1/4 tea cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt

Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl. Rinse the Mahi Mahi filets under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the fish in a zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Gently move the filets around so that everything is covered and place the bag in the refrigerator for 45min to 1 hour. You don’t want to leave it in the marinade too long because the lime juice will actually start to cook the fish.

While the fish is marinating, fire up the grill for direct cooking. I used 1 chimney of lump coals for a good hot fire. The heat should be a Med. High around 375-400 degrees. After 45 minutes remove it from the refrigerator and drip off the excess marinade. Liberally dust each side with the Blackened seasoning.

Here’s my Blackened Seasoning recipe (you can make this yourself or just buy some at the store):

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

The trick to grilling perfect fish is to have a well-greased cooking surface. You also want it to be clean and hot. To oil the cooking surface I use a cotton rag soaked in vegetable oil. Right before the fish goes on give the grate a good rub with the rag. It doesn’t have to be thick just a decent coating. Sometimes the fish still wants to stick a little but this will help for the most part.

The cook time for Mahi Mahi is fast. You’ll notice in the video that I’m using a couple grill grates on top of the standard Weber grate. They conduct heat really well so everything cooks evenly and you’ll get really good grill marks on the final product.

Place the fish on the grate and set a timer for 1 ½ minutes. When it goes off, use a spatula and twist the fish a quarter turn, so it has that diamond pattern, restaurant look. Time it for another 1 ½ minutes then give it a gentle turn to the opposite side. Set the timer for 1 ½ minutes once again.

At this point I brushed on a glaze. Here’s the recipe:

Honey Lime Glaze

  • 2 TBS Lime Juice
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • Salt and Pepper

Add the lime juice, vinegar, and honey to a bowl. While whisking slowly add the olive oil. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper to balance the flavor.

After three more minutes the Mahi is ready to come off the grill. You can serve it just like this but I like to serve it “fish taco” style.

When the fish is cooked, give the grill a quick brush to remove any stuck on bits. Rub it with the oil rag once again and you’re ready to warm up some tortillas. This only takes about 25 seconds on each side and you’ll have warm grilled tortillas.

To assemble the tacos: slice the fillets into strips and place a few on each tortilla add a slice of ripe avocado, and some dry cabbage slaw. Squeeze fresh lime over the slaw and garnish with chopped cilantro. I also made pickled red onion that goes great on fish tacos. You can find the recipe for the onions here.

To top the whole thing off I dressed the Mahi tacos with a Chipotle Mayo dressing. Here’s the recipe:

  • ¼ Cup Mayo
  • ¼ Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2-3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 TBS Adobo Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the mayo, sour cream, and vinegar in a food processor. Chop the Chipotle peppers (2 are hot enough for me but if you like the heat feel free to add more) and add to the mixture, also add 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce. Pulse until everything is combined. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

I guarantee you’ll love these tacos. If you’re looking for a different type of fish to grill give Mahi Mahi a try next time you fire up the grill.

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ Cooking Team
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