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Chef Jon's Spotlight on Mahi

Texture: Flaky, yet firm and steak like

Flavor: Mild and sweet flavor profile, low on the “fishy” flavor scale

Best Cooking Methods: Grilling, Pan Searing, Blackening, Deep Frying, Broiling

Best Cooking Temperature: 135-140 degrees internal temperature, at this temperature the mahi will flake nicely without being dry.

Chef’s Notes

Mahi is an amazingly versatile fish that has a wide variety of options in terms of cooking and flavorings. Very popular in the Caribbean as well as the southern United States, it's become a staple fish for tacos, sandwiches and many other preparations.

For this recipe I chose to highlight one of my favorite flavors for mahi: blackening. I have heard some people argue that blackening fish hides its natural flavor but I think for fish like mahi it accentuates it and takes advantage of the texture that the fish has. I have included a recipe for blackening spice but if you want to simplify this recipe feel free to buy the Alchemy Spice Co. Blackening seasoning from our stores. Green Goddess Dressing is a wonderful sauce to use with a blackened piece of fish as the creaminess of avocado balances the spicy smoky flavor with clean, bright, herbaceous flavors.

Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwich with Tomato, Arugula and Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Techniques: Blackening, Pan Searing

Yield: 2 Servings

Equipment Needed: Cast Iron Skillet, Food Processor, Fish Spatula


For the Blackening Spice:

-          1 Tablespoon(.25 oz.) Paprika

-          2 Tablespoons(.5 oz.) Smoked Paprika

-          1 teaspoon(.1 oz.) Cayenne Pepper

-          1 teaspoon(.1 oz.) Dried Thyme

-          1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

-          1 teaspoon(.1 oz.) Garlic Powder

-          1 Tablespoon(.3 oz) Onion Powder

-          1 teaspoon Salt(.25 oz)

-          1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

For the Fish:

-          2 (6 oz.) Mahi Mahi fillets

-          2 Tablespoons Blackening Spice(store bought is fine or make your own with the recipe above)

-          2 Tablespoons(.8 oz.) Avocado Oil

-          1 Lime, cut in half, one half for finishing reserve other for arugula

For the Sauce:

-          1 Cup(8 oz.) Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

-          1 Avocado(3.7 oz.)

-          1 Cup(.5 oz.) Parsley Leaves(Italian Flat Leaf)

-          1/2 Cup(.25 oz) Cilantro Leaves

-          2/3 Cup(.35 oz) Mixed soft herbs(Tarragon, Basil, Dill, Mint)

-          2 Tablespoons(1 oz.) Lemon Juice

-          ½ teaspoon Lemon Zest

-          1 Tablespoon(1 oz.) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-          1 Tablespoon Capers(.6 oz.)

-          1-2 Garlic Cloves(.3 oz.)

-          Kosher Salt

-          Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the Sandwich:

-          2 Brioche Buns

-          1 Tablespoons Butter, softened at room temperature

-          1 Cups Arugula

-          1 Tablespoon EVOO

-          ½ Lime, juiced

-          Kosher Salt

-          Freshly ground black pepper

-          1-2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick, seasoned with salt and pepper




1.      Combine all the spices in a small bowl and set aside. It will last in an airtight container for months.


1.      In the bowl of a food processor add the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, zest and capers. Puree for 10 seconds and scrape down the side of the bowl, repeat 3 times total.

2.      Add the Greek yogurt, avocado, EVOO, kosher salt and black pepper and puree for another 10 seconds then scrape the bowl with a spatula and peat 3 tims total.

3.      Taste and adjust seasoning. It should be bright, herbaceous with a wonderful creamy texture from the avocado. If the herb flavors are muted, you need to season with more salt.


1.      Pat your mahi mahi dry with paper towels and lay on a plate for seasoning.

2.      Season your Mahi very heavily on both sides, pressing the blackening spice lightly into the fish and set aside.


1.      Preheat your oven at 400 degrees, we will be finishing the fish in the oven then switching the oven to broil for the buns after the fish is cooked.

2.      Lay your buns, cut side up, on a sheet tray and spread with soft butter and set aside til the fish is cooked.


1.      Preheat your cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. You don’t need your pan screaming hot or the blackening spice will color too quickly before the fish can cook.

2.      Add the avocado oil and allow to preheat for 15-20 seconds. Add the mahi, flesh side down leaving plenty of space between each piece.

3.      Allow the Mahi to cook for 3 minutes on the first side until a dark blackened (but not burnt) crust has formed.

4.      Flip the mahi with a fish spatula, being careful to flip away from you to prevent splashing oil on yourself. Cook for an additional minute, then move the cast iron skillet to the oven.

5.      Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 130-140 degrees, depending on thickness anywhere between 2-8 minutes as mahi can vary wildly in thickness, mine took all 8 minutes to hit temperature.

6.      Squeeze half a lime over the fish before removing from the pan.

7.      Remove the Mahi from the pan to a warm plate and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes while you brown the buns under the broiler.


1.      Place buns under the broiler and give them about a minute before turning the pan and finishing the browning. A nice toasted bun is a great textural contrast to the soft flaky fish.

2.      Toss arugula with lime juice, EVOO, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

3.      To build your sandwich start by spreading a thin layer of green goddess dressing onto the bottom bun, add sliced tomato, ½ cup of dressed arugula and top with the fish. Spread another layer of green goddess onto the top bun and place onto the fish.

4.      Serve with sweet potato fries, kettle cooked potato chips or any of your favorites!



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