Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grilled Mahi Mahi Recipe with Lemon and Capers

Mahi Mahi is a perfect fish to cook on the grill, because it's firm and doesn't dry out.

(Updated with new photos and better instructions August 2011.)  I think Mahi Mahi is a greatly under-used fish, and it's one of my favorite types of fish to use for cooking on the grill.  This recipe is one I first made back in the days when I was grilling fish on a houseboat at Lake Powell, long before anyone thought about sustainable seafood, but the wild-caught Mahi Mahi I get from Costco is classified as a good choice, (and Mahi Mahi is not dolphin, in case anyone is wondering.)  You may not think of capers as being an ingredient that goes with fish, but I love the tang they add to this recipe.   I think this flavorful marinade with lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, Dijon, and just a touch of onion and garlic flavor would be good on just about any type of fish.  (Edit:  For someone who asked in the comments, the salad served with the Mahi Mahi in this photo is Sauteed Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Capers, Mint, and Sumac.)

I love to use fresh herbs in cooking, but in marinades like this I sometimes use ingredients like onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley because they dissolve a bit more into the liquid of the marinade and don't leave clumps of onion, parsley, or garlic on the fish or meat when it's grilled.  If you prefer to use fresh onions, garlic, or parsley, I would increase the amounts a little.

If you're using frozen Mahi Mahi it's best to thaw overnight in the fridge, but in a pinch you can thaw them in cold water.  The Mahi Mahi I get at Costco comes individually wrapped like this, and although I know it's extra packaging it does make them handy to keep in the freezer.

Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice.  Chop up the capers a little and then whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon, chopped capers, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, and black pepper.

Put the thawed fish pieces in a small Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade.  Let fish marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.  (Don't leave it much longer than that or the lemon juice will start to "cook" the fish.

Sorry I didn't get better photos of the fish on the grill!  Remove fish from the marinade and grill about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  I cooked these pieces about 9 minutes total.

And here's the original one-and-only photo from this recipe when it was first posted in June 2006!


Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lemon and Capers
(Makes enough marinade for 2-4 pieces of fish; this recipe was one I made for years at Lake Powell but I don't know where I first saw it.)

Ingredients:
Mahi Mahi filets, one per person
oil for oiling grill grates
lemon pieces for serving fish (optional)

Marinade Ingredients:
1 tsp. lemon zest (or more, I zested the whole lemon)
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T capers, chopped (or more if you really like capers)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:
Zest the lemon, squeeze lemon juice and chop the capers.  Whisk together the marinade ingredients.  Put thawed Mahi Mahi filets into Ziploc bag or plastic container with a snap-tight lid, pour marinade over, and allow to marinate 2-3 hours. (Don't leave it longer than that for best results.)

When you're ready to cook the fish, spray grill with nonstick spray or brush with oil, then preheat the grill to high.  When grill is hot,  put fish on, with the top side facing down.  (For a gas grill, I usually lower heat to medium high when I put the fish on.)  To get nice grill marks, lay fish at an angle to grill grates, then rotate fish a quarter turn after about 3 minutes. Cook about 3 minutes more on same side, then turn carefully and cook 3-4 minutes on other side.

Total cooking time will be about 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish, depending on how hot your grill is. Fish is done when it feels firm, but not hard, to the touch. Serve hot, with additional lemons to squeeze over if desired.


South Beach Suggestions:
Grilled fish like this is not only delicious, it's perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. For phase one, serve with something like Marinated Tomato Salad with Parsley and Marjoram Dressing and World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables.  For phase two or three you could substitute Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts for one of those dishes.

Ten More Tasty Ideas for Cooking Mahi Mahi:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Soy-Grilled Mahi Mahi with Korean Dipping Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Mahi Mahi with Kalyn's Lake Powell Fish Marinade from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Red Fish Stew from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Spicy Tuna from Kalyn's Kitchen
Outrageously Delicious Mahi Mahi from What We're Eating
Dorado or Mahi Mahi with Cilantro from Hunter Gardener Angler Cook
Barbecued Mahi Mahi with Yellow Pepper Cilantro Pesto from Ezra Pound Cake
Steamed Mahi Mahi with Stir-Fried Vegetables from Andrea Meyers
Crispy Mahi Mahi with Mango-Cucumber Relish from Poor Girl Eats Well
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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27 comments:

doodles said...

Kayln I live in Florida where mahi mahi is everywhere. And on almost every menu there is a disclaimer that "NO YOU ARE NOT EATING FLIPPER"!!! Grouper is another very similar fish to Dolphin....we call it dolphin. Mahi Mahi I believe came from Hawaii - not sure.
Your grilled dolphin looks yummy....

Rose said...

I always liked Mahi Mahi because it tasted fresh no matter if it was from a frozen source.

Costco has an incredible range of frozen products for those of us who aren't close to the waters or the sources for seafood. I'm always amazed at their selection of goods no matter what (even if it comes in sizes too large for one person to handle).

Rorie said...

Gosh, I had no idea that there was a dolphin/mahi-mahi confusion controversy. I don't believe I've ever eaten a dolphin, but I love love love mahi-mahi! Last time we visited Kauai I ate eat every day. Yum. I'll definitely be trying this!

sher said...

I love mahi mahi, and your picture looks wonderful. Yum.

Kalyn said...

Doodles, how funny that they have it on the menus!!

Rose, sounds like we are both Costco fans. I love Costco. NPR calls it "The Church of Costco."

Rorie, I've had a few people tell me I shouldn't eat it. LOL

Sher, thanks.

Tanna said...

Great picture. Really looks good. Always looking for good fish recipes.

mae said...

Looks juicy! Oh yum. I've never heard of Mahi Mahi before.

Kalyn, i made an aubergine salsa which i though could go with the WHB. Who's hosting it this weekend? Is it back with you?

Katy said...

I get Mahi Mahi from costco too, well, when I am not in Argentina anyway I do, your picture looks lovely and is making me quite hungry!

Morgan said...

Thanks for getting me started!
I added a little fresh dill and replaced the powder garlic/onion with fresh fine chopped - and let me tell you... I got smooches from the wife and the kids!

And I really like the healthy replacement - olive oil instead of butter. I still miss the butter though...

Kalyn said...

Morgan, I like your additions/replacements a lot. This is a very old recipe and I probably wouldn't use the powdered garlic or onion myself now either. And dill would be great in this! Glad it was a hit.

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

The fish so nice they named it twice... Wonderful marinade, great tips and while your original photo was... OK, you have indeed come a long way bab... um Kalyn

nancy@skinnykitchen.com said...

I love mahi mahi and always forget to make it. Your sauce sounds yummy!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Dave! And you can call me baby any time!

Nancy, I think salmon and Mahi Mahi are my two favorite fish for the grill. Love this recipe with the capers.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Well, mahi mahi is dolphinfish, but not the mammal, "Flipper." I don't think the myth will ever die because of mahi mahi being known as dolphinfish as well. I like Dave's comment about the fish with two names. Too funny! Anyway, oh, yum on your mahi mahi. So easy and so good! Your photos are so wonderful now, Kalyn. They really show us how good your recipes will be when we try them!

Shirley

Joanne said...

I made mahi mahi for the first time a few months ago and I really liked it! Lemon and capers definitely sound like an excellent compliment to it!

Anonymous said...

Definitly going to try this recipe but I'm curious as to what is on the plate with it?

Kalyn said...

Shirley, thanks for sharing that link. And I agree, the myth is probably here to stay. I appreciate the nice feedback about the photos too.

Joanne, I might eat cardboard if it had lemon and capers on it, but it was especially good on this fish!

The dish on the plate is a garbanzo bean salad with roasted red peppers and mint. It's not on the blog yet, but will be coming soon!

tasteofbeirut said...

Excellent recipe; I have not cooked with mahi-mahi much but I am tempted now, especially since it is grilled (and won't smell up the house!).

Kalyn said...

Yes, that's another good reason for cooking fish on the grill.

maryklein8 said...

Wow, this looks awesome. I love fish on the grill.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Mary!

Renee said...

I made this recipe tonight and it was phenomenal. Yum! Your recipes are always on point and delicious. Thank you for this fabulous resource for healthy recipes.

Kalyn Denny said...

Renee, my pleasure. So glad you're enjoying the recipes.

sockii said...

I just wanted to say, I made this tonight and it was perfect! Light and easy for the summertime. I served it with a simple Italian-style salad of shredded cabbage, onion and carrot marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt, plus some grilled toast and fresh summer tomatoes. Yum! Pinning it so I won't forget it.

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you enjoyed it!

Sonya said...

This was delicious, thank you for the great recipes!

Kalyn Denny said...

Sonya, my pleasure. So glad you liked it.

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