One of the prized jewels of the Florida Keys is Mahimahi. Also called Mahi, Dorado, and Dolphin, the mild white fish is abundant in the Keys. This is an easy recipe with very low carbs with remarkable results!
When you're in a restaurant in The Keys, your server will ask you if you'd like to hear the daily specials; he or she will undoubtedly utter the words, "Our fresh fish today is Mahi." It's everywhere! You want to cook and eat Mahi the day they are caught, and with minimal effort, you'll have a restaurant-quality dinner to remember.
If you're in The Keys on vacation, you can hop on a charter boat, and your captain will find you a school of dolphins, which, from what I hear, are pretty easy to catch. The fish are cleaned when the boat comes into the harbor, and they can be packed on ice and brought to any restaurant, and they will cook it for you. There are also services to have your fish packed in dry ice and sent back to your home.
Mahi is a firm fish that holds up well in a skillet and is delicious when freshly caught. It can be flipped with ease and has a sweet, mild flavor. Mahi can be cooked in a hot pan with a few tablespoons of oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels before cooking to get a good sear on it.
How to Prepare
The image above shows a photograph of the fish purchased from the fish store. The fish is deboned at the market. However, the bloodline is still intact. This is a fish that was caught earlier today, so the bloodline is fresh and has minimal impact on the finished dish's taste. It can easily be cut away with a very sharp knife, as shown below.
If you are purchasing frozen fish, the bloodline was most likely removed before processing.
How to Sear Mahimahi
- Prepare basil butter. Keep warm.
- Rinse and pat dry the fish.
- Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil for a few minutes over medium heat in a 12" cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet. Add fish to the pan in a single layer.
- Cook three minutes without moving.
- Flip fish with a fish turner or wide spatula and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes more.
- Transfer each filet to a dinner plate.
- Spoon basil butter over each serving
- Serve with lemon wedges.
What To Do With Leftovers
Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to two days. You can reheat the fish in a small skillet with a little unsalted butter for a minute or two. Freezing is not recommended.
The following recipe is for Seared Mahi with Basil Butter is adapted from Paula Deen at PaulaDeen.com.
Some More Fresh Florida Keys Seafood Recipes:
Seared Mahimahi with Basil Butter
FOR THE SAUCE
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus additional for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for seasoning
- 1 ½ tablespoon fresh basil leaves stemmed and chopped + whole leaves for garnish
FOR THE MAHI
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1.25 pounds fresh wild-caught Mahi fillets
- 2 lemons, sliced into wedges for serving
FOR THE BASIL BUTTER
- Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over ow heat, stirring until the butter melts. Cover and keep warm while you cook the fish over low heat.
FOR THE FISH
- Cut away the bloodline if present.
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fish for 3 minutes; then turn (with a fish turner or wide spatula) and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the filets to individual plates.
- Spoon the warm basil butter over the fish.
- Garnish with whole basil leaves and lemon wedges.
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and it comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate information, these figures are estimates only.