Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kalyn's Used-to-Be Famous Recipe for Lake Powell Fish Marinade (Grilled Mahi Mahi)

This fish marinade is a recipe that used to be famous, at least with my Lake Powell friends!

(Updated with new photos and better instructions July 2011) There was at time when this flavorful and versatile fish marinade was probably my most famous recipe, at least the recipe was certainly something that got requested often by the clients and friends I used to cook for at Utah's beautiful Lake Powell. That was back in the days when the South Beach Diet didn't exist, and no one had ever heard of sustainable seafood either, and at the lake I'd often use the marinade on Thresher Shark. Now I like this on Mahi Mahi, which is the fish shown in these photos. Do I dare say that this is a good marinade if you're cooking for people who are suspicious about fish? It's true that the flavors of the marinade make grilled fish a bit less "fishy" so if that's something that appeals to you, this may become your favorite way to cook fish on the grill.

This is the wild-caught Mahi Mahi I get at Costco, and it's a good fish for the grill because it's firmer than many other types of white fish.

Back in the days when I was packing food for Lake Powell I would have been thrilled with fish that came sealed in individual packages like this.  Let the fish thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or in a pinch, thaw in cold water.)

Mix together the soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut oil, water, Liquid Smoke, seafood seasoning, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to make the marinade.

Marinate fish in the refrigerator for a few hours, but not more than about 4 hours.

Bad blogger! I was cooking several dishes when I made this fish and I forgot to take photos of it on the grill so I'll have to use this photo from Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime to illustrate fish on the grill! Be sure to let fish come to room temperature, oil the grill, and get the grill hot before you put the fish on. The general rule for timing fish on the grill is to cook it about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Kalyn's Used to Be Famous Lake Powell Fish Marinade
(Makes enough marinade for 4-6 pieces of fish; this marinade is good for Soy Grilled Shark, Halibut, Mahi-Mahi, Swordfish or other types of mild white fish.)

4-6 pieces of fish, thawed if frozen

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke (measure carefully and don't use more)
1 tsp. Johnny's Seafood Seasoning or Bon Appetit
(You could substitute any seasoning that's good on fish.)
1/2 - 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 T onion powder (or 2 T grated fresh onion)
1 T garlic puree or garlic powder

If using frozen fish, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in cold water. Place thawed fish filets in a single layer in large Ziploc bag or plastic container with a snap-tight lid.

Stir together the soy sauce, lemon juice, peanut oil, water, Liquid Smoke, seafood seasoning, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to make the marinade. Pour the marinade over the fish and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours. (I wouldn't marinate this longer than 4 hours at the most.)

When you're ready to cook the fish, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Oil the grill grates thoroughly with non-stick grill spray or a paper towel dipped in oil. When fish is nearly room temperature, preheat the grill to high, or medium-high for charcoal grill. (You can only hold your hand there for 1-2 seconds at that heat.)

To get nice grill marks, lay the fish top-side down at an angle to the grill grates.   As soon as you put the fish on, turn the grill down to medium-high if you can.  (For a charcoal grill, I would just preheat to medium-high.)  Cook fish about 2-3 minutes, or until the first grill marks appear.  (I usually lift up a piece and check.)  Then rotate fish going at the opposite angle to make the criss-cross marks and cook about 2-3 more minutes.   When you have nice grill marks, turn the fish carefully and cook 4-5 minutes on the other side.  Total cooking time for fish is about 10 minutes per inch of thickness and fish should feel firm but not hard to the touch when it's done.

Remove from the grill and serve hot.  (The Liquid Smoke used in this recipe is VERY potent, so don't be tempted to increase the amount.  If you use too much it will ruin whatever you are putting it in, but in small amounts, it adds a nice smoky flavor for barbecue sauce or grilled meats.)

South Beach Suggestions:
Grilled fish like this is not only delicious, it's the perfect South Beach Diet food. For phase one, you could serve it with Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan, and Arugula and Sweet Mini-Pepper Salad. For phase two or three I would add Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi or Lake Powell Spicy Rice.

More Delicious Fish on the Grill:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Halibut with Southwestern Rub and Tomatillo Salsa from Kalyn's Kitchen
Soy-Grilled Mahi Mahi with Korean Dipping Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Herb Encrusted Grilled Salmon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Barbecued Mahi Mahi with Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto from Ezra Pound Cake
Grilled Mahi Mahi Kabobs from Home with Mandy
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon from Leite's Culinaria
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. Used-to-be??? I think it's still famous!

  2. Pam, let's hope so, because this is awfully good!

  3. The fish looks amazing and so does the salad? Do you have the recipe for the salad on your site too? I can't wait to make both of these!

  4. Crystine, thanks. The salad in the photos is Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cilantro Salad (with avocado), a recipe I just love!

  5. There is no use to be here. This is going to be famous again! looks so good!

  6. Maris, let's hope people will try it because it's a great recipe. It was always a hit at Lake Powell, even with people who "didn't like fish."

  7. Love all the seasonings in this "Used to Be Famous" recipe which I'm sure will now be a favorite once again now that it has resurfaced! Lovely grill marks, and so pretty next to your Garbanzo, Tomato, Cilantro, Avocado Salad.

  8. Thanks Jeanette! I don't know if it will be famous, but I hope people will enjoy it.

  9. This recipe is perfect timing. I just said to my husband this morning that we need to eat more fish, and I'd already spent some time today figuring out which varieties are best for grilling. Mahi-Mahi is a great choice. The marinade looks fabulous. Can't wait to try it.

  10. This sounds like it would have been useful a few years ago when I was teaching myself to like fish. But I bet I'd love it now that I'm a fish-lover also!

  11. Not only are these flavors my favorites for a marinade but I love anything that allows me who is terrified of cooking fish to cook it as simply as possible and come out with something flavorful and perfect.

  12. Joanne, glad you've become a fish convert!

    Jamie, hope you will try it.

  13. I am sure this is still famous! Looks great!

  14. I'll have to see if I can find this fish in my Costco. I was living in BC and had fresh fish but here we don't. That looks so good.

  15. Great flavors for a marinade. Interesting how the history of an individual recipe morphs and changes over time.

  16. Speaking of Kalyn's famous recipes: My family calls fruit salad with dill "Kalyn Fruit Salad." And Green Chile and Egg Casserole: "Kalyn Egg Casserole." Thanks for your famous-ness!

  17. Maria, thanks. Maybe it will get famous again.

    Helene, how lucky to have fresh fish. I haven't ever lived anywhere that I could get it, but I think you'll enjoy the fish from Costco.T\

    TW, isn't it fascinating. This was something I made on every trip to Lake Powell.

    That is so cute! At least I'm famous in your family.

  18. Haven't tried the Mahi-mahi from Costco but I will now. And finally, I have a recipe that uses liquid smoke besides brisket.

  19. Paula, I thought I was the only one who used Liquid Smoke! So good in small doses. I've been very happy with the Mahi Mahi from Costco.

  20. I know people who want fish less fishy so they'd love this :) So would I. Now I need to look up Lake Powell...

  21. Kelly, Lake Powell is one of the most beautiful places on earth! It may even be better than San Diego.

  22. Kalyn, do you think there would be much of a difference if I subbed in canola oil for peanut oil? My daughter has a nut allergy. If not canola, what other oil would you recommend?

  23. Canola or grapeseed oil would both be fine.

  24. I live in the Caribbean and have tried hundreds of marinades, most to horrible ends. THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER TASTED. Seriously. I use it weekly. I could drink it! This weekend I had a dinner party and marinated chicken in it and baked it covered in the oven, finishing it on the grill for extra flavor. I served some of the unused marinade as a "sauce" on the side and everyone wanted the recipe. This is just a stunning marinade....and sauce. Using it tonight on some dolphin. THANK YOU.

  25. Ginger, thanks so much. It was definitely always a hit when I used it at Lake Powell!


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