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This simple mahi mahi recipe stars lemon, garlic and herbs: the perfect way to accessorize this tasty fish!

Mahi mahi recipe

Got a fillet of mahi mahi? Try this easy mahi mahi recipe! It’s simply pan-fried with lemon, garlic and herbs until it’s tender and juicy. This popular fish makes a splash with simple preparations like this one: it’s got a short ingredient list and is quick to whip up as a tasty main dish. Add a sauce if you’d like, and experience the magic of pure, simple mahi mahi.

What does mahi mahi taste like?

Mahi mahi is a tropical fish with vibrant green, blue and gold scales, also called dolphinfish or dorado; its name means “strong” in Hawaiian. Mahi mahi has a distinctive, meatier flavor than most white fish, though it’s technically categorized as a mild flavor. The flesh is lean and moderately firm, with a moist texture and large flakes.

Our honest review? This recipe is a great way to enjoy this tasty fish! In general, we prefer the flavor and texture of milder white fish like cod, tilapia or even halibut to mahi mahi, which has such a distinctive flavor and meaty texture. However, we live in a landlocked state and haven’t tried fresh-caught mahi mahi, so we reserve our final judgement until we’re able to access a great catch.

Ingredients in this mahi mahi recipe

A great fillet of fish makes a great recipe, and with this one make sure you’re using the best quality mahi mahi. It’s quick and easy to whip up in a pan, and it takes just 5 minutes to cook! Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Mahi mahi, wild-caught if possible
  • Garlic powder and onion powder
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Minced fresh herbs, like thyme, oregano or rosemary
  • Garlic
Mahi mahi recipe

Tips for how to cook it!

Mahi mahi comes together in a flash when you pan fry it, but there are just a few tips to know to make a stellar fillet. Here are a few notes on how to cook mahi mahi:

  • To pan fry mahi mahi, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Heat olive oil and butter (or just oil), then add the mahi mahi and cook for 2 minutes. Flip it using a fish spatula, then add lemon zest, garlic and herbs to the pan. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes, spooning the juices over the fish.
  • Cook until the fish is tender and starts to flake when you poke it with a fork. Make sure to adjust based on the thickness of the fillets. Or, the fillet should measure 140°F when measured at the thickest point with a food thermometer.
Mahi mahi recipe

Alternative: make baked mahi mahi

Don’t want to dirty a pan? Pan frying fish is the quickest way to cook mahi mahi, but you can also bake it! Here are instructions for what to do (using the quantities in the recipe below):

  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and brush it with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes, until it flakes with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter on the stovetop, then add the garlic, lemon, and herbs. When the fish is finished, remove from the oven and pour the garlic herb butter over the fillets.

Sauces to add

This mahi mahi recipe tastes great as is, but it’s even better with a sauce! You can make a dipping sauce for serving, or a sauce that covers the entire fish. Here are a few to try:

Mahi mahi recipe

Is mahi mahi a sustainable fish?

According to NOAA Fisheries (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), U.S. wild-caught mahi mahi is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations (source). Look for wild-caught mahi mahi at your local grocery fish counter.

More fish recipes

Want to cook up more great fish recipes? Here are some of our favorite collections starring seafood:

This mahi mahi recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian.

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Mahi mahi recipe

Easy Mahi Mahi Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This simple mahi mahi recipe stars lemon, garlic and herbs: the perfect way to accessorize this tasty fish!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds mahi mahi (4 fillets), wild-caught if possible
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil, for dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (such as thyme, oregano or rosemary)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. Pat the mahi mahi dry and sprinkle with the kosher salt, then the garlic powder and onion powder.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When butter is melted, add the mahi mahi and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Flip the mahi mahi and pour the lemon juice over the fish. Add the lemon zest, garlic and herbs to the pan and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, basting the mahi mahi with the juices using a spoon, until the fish is tender and starts to flake when you prick it with a fork (adjust based on the thickness of the fillets).
  4. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with additional herbs. Serve immediately, drizzled with the juices from the pan.

Notes

*Alternative: To bake mahi mahi, season with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Melt the butter on the stovetop, then add the garlic, lemon, and herbs. When the fish is finished, remove from the oven and pour the garlic herb butter over the fillets.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Mahi mahi, mahi mahi recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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