Wegmans Pan Seared Mahi Mahi

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How to Cook Mahi Mahi

Four Methods:

Mahi mahi (also called dolphinfish, although they're unrelated to dolphins) is a versatile fish that produces excellent results using just about any cooking method. The mild, sweet flesh, which starts out as pinkish but turns white as it cooks, is very lean but also quite moist and flavorful. When cooked to perfection, mahi mahi's naturally sweet taste makes it an ideal pairing with fresh fruit, herb salsas, salads, and more. This firm white fish is an excellent source of healthy, extra lean protein. It is also low in saturated fat and low in sodium. It is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. Mahi mahi also provides about 400 mg of omega-3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounce serving of fresh fish.Try any of the methods in this tutorial to make a delicious meal for yourself or your family and friends.


Steaming Mahi Mahi

  1. Get some Ti or banana leaves to wrap your mahi mahi.The Ti plant is an evergreen shrub native to Hawaii with smooth blade-shaped leaves measuring about four inches wide and range from one to two feet in length.You can also use banana leaves.
    • Wrapping your mahi mahi in leaves helps the fish steam slowly, keeping its juices as it cooks.
    • If using frozen leaves, be sure to de-thaw them first.
  2. Prepare your leaves.For Ti leaves, cut each leaf along the center of the rib and throw the rib away. Look for fresh Ti leaves at a Mexican or Asian market. For banana leaves, soak the leaf in water to soften it (about 1 to 2 minutes) and tear 12 long strips from 1 or 2 leaves and boil for 30 seconds before draining.
    • Cut 24 more strips, each about 12 inches by 3 inches and set them aside.
  3. Cut your mahi mahi.Carefully slice your mahi mahi into 12 equal pieces (about 2 in. by 2 in).
    • If working with frozen filets, defrost them before cutting.
    • Press lightly when cutting. The fish is delicate and you can easily crush the filets with too much pressure.
  4. Chill your mahi mahi slices.Place your mahi mahi slices on a plate together and leave it in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
    • You can drizzle lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, fresh or dried herbs, or any seasonings you prefer onto the mahi mahi pieces while they chill.
  5. Pack your mahi mahi.Arrange two strips of Ti leaves or banana leaves on top of one another in a cross shape. Your piece of fish should fit in the center of the cross without overlaying.
    • You will use the sides of the leaves to wrap your piece of fish for steaming later.
    • Top with grilled vegetables if you prefer.
  6. Fold your leaves closed.Begin with the lower strip and carefully fold the leaves over the filling by alternating strips in a cross shape. Use each new strip to fold the loose end of the previous strip over the filling.
    • Tuck the last strip beneath the packet.
    • Tie closed with the thinner boiled strips you prepared earlier.
    • Repeat for the rest of your mahi mahi pieces.
  7. Set up your steamer.Use a rack or steamer basket in a large pot with water until it rests just ½ inch below the top of the rack or basket.
    • Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  8. Cook your mahi mahi.Carefully place your fish packets in a single layer on the rack or in the basket. Do not stack your packets.
    • Steam in batches if necessary.
    • Cover the pot or rack and cook for 6-10 minutes (or until fish it barely opaque in the center). You may need to gently open one of your packets and cut to test.
  9. Serve.Gently remove your packets from the steamer and tip them slightly to drain any water than may have gathered inside. Serve hot or warm.
    • Serve with rice or lime wedges.

Grilling Mahi Mahi

  1. Start your grill.Grills take a while to warm up completely so preheat your outdoor grill at medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Close the lid while heating.
    • Once you have heated your grill a bit, you can use a grill brush it clean before use.
  2. Cook your fillets.Use a metal spatula to gently place your fillets directly onto the oiled grill. Close the grill lid and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.
    • Drizzle the fillets in a seasoning of your choice or marinate them prior to cooking.
    • Try some olive oil, minced garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, lime juice, and grated lime zest or anything else you prefer.
  3. Turn your fillets.After about 3 or 4 minutes, use a metal spatula to gently flip your fillets. Close the grill lid and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
  4. Serve.Carefully remove your fillets from the grill and serve with fresh limes or zest. For best results, serve immediately.

Baking Mahi Mahi

  1. Preheat the oven.For the best results, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Before heating, center your oven racks.
  2. Prepare your fish.Gently rinse your fillets and place them on a non-stick baking pan or a pan lined with foil.
    • You can cook frozen fillets.
    • Season your fish if you prefer. Squeeze lemon juice on each piece of fish and sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper.
    • Bread your fish if you prefer. Lightly dust each piece with a fine layer of breadcrumbs. You can make fresh breadcrumbs of use store-bought and mix in extra seasonings like garlic powder or pepper if you'd like.
  3. Bake your fish.Place your pan in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. If you have breaded the fish, the breading should be golden brown.
    • Add 5-10 minutes if cooking from frozen.

Seasoning Mahi Mahi

  1. Make a sauce.Try mixing cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground ginger, smoked paprika, salt, and black and red peppers, or any other seasonings you prefer. Pour this over your mahi mahi before cooking with any of the methods, or let it soak in the fridge for about 10 minutes before cooking.
  2. Prepare a fresh salsa.Try making a quick salsa of diced tomatoes, mango, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, cumin, garlic, and lime juice to enjoy with your cooked mahi mahi.
  3. Experiment with seasonings.Here's the fun part. Because mahi mahi has such a light and delicate flavor, it is easy to influence the taste of the meat with any of your favorite seasonings. Lightly dust your mahi mahi with simple salt and pepper, or experiment with several dry seasonings and sauces for the ultimate mahi mahi.
  4. Finished.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I fry mahi mahi strips?
    Top Answerer
  • Question
    Is mahi-mahi okay to fry in a pan?
    Community Answer
    Yes. Generally any fish can be fried in a pan. Frying preserves the fresh, sweet flavor of the fish.
  • Question
    Is it okay to use bottled lime juice that is used for cocktails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Fresh lemons and limes are always better in cooking, but the bottled versions will work in a pinch.
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  • Mahi mahi is most often bought prepackaged, but if you buy fresh mahi mahi, look for clear eyes, pink gills and light pink flesh. The longer the fish has been on display, the darker its flesh gets. Mahi mahi is very colorful when alive, but its skin becomes a dull yellow and gray after it's caught.
  • Like most fish, mahi mahi is best cooked at high temperatures for short times. It takes about 10 minutes to cook a piece of fresh fish that is an inch thick. Double the cooking time for frozen fish.


  • Mahi mahi is ideal for a variety of preparations. However, care should be taken not to overcook mahi mahi. It should be cooked until it flakes and no longer.
  • It is easy to get sick from eating undercooked fish. Be sure to check your fish gently with a fork or knife. Look for white or barely opaque (clear) flakey pieces before you eat it.
  • Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Mercury is a poisonous metal, which can create a health risk for some people. High amounts of mercury are most dangerous to unborn children or young children. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish.

Things You'll Need

  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Spoon
  • Large and medium bowls
  • Knife
  • Aluminum foil (optional)
  • Grill
  • Steamer or steaming rack
  • Frying pan
  • Plates
  • Basting brush

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