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Blackened Mahi Mahi

Blackened Mahi Mahi Elevate boring fish fillets by coating them in butter and warm blackened seasoning. Pan sear the fish over high heat for mahi mahi that’s crisp on the outside and moist and flaky on the inside. Eat as is, or garnish with our fresh mango salsa.

Blackened mahi-mahi served with lemon and chopped cilantro.

WHAT IS BLACKENED MAHI MAHI?

Mahi-mahi is a healthy Hawaiian fish packed with protein and nutrients. We coat the fillets in butter and blackened seasoning before searing them in a hot cast-iron skillet to create a beautiful, tasty crust. Blackening is a Cajun cooking technique to prepare fish, vegetables, and meat. While it may look burnt at first glance, that color means flavor and lots of it!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Mahi-Mahi: I use frozen wild-caught mahi-mahi filets from Costco most. However, if you have access to fresh fish, use that instead.
  • Butter: Butter binds the blackened seasoning to the fish fillet.
  • Blackened Seasoning: Take a moment to check out the blackened seasoning. Ours combines American chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. If heat is a concern, consider omitting the cayenne.

HOW TO MAKE BLACKENED MAHI MAHI

Salt the mahi mahi to remove excess moisture.

Salt the defrosted filets and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Pat fry the fish to remove the excess moisture.

Pat dry the fillets to remove any moisture.

Brush the fillets with melted butter.

Lightly coat them with melted butter using a pastry brush.

Generously coat the fillets in the blackening seasoning.

Combine the ingredients for the blackened seasoning in a small bowl and generously cover both sides of the fish.

oil warming in cast-iron skillet

Warm avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it begins to smoke.

Cook the fillet in a well heated pan for 3 minutes on one side.

Once heated, carefully add 1-2 filets to the pan to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the filet. Repeat with the remaining filets (see note).

Flip the fillet and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes.

Serve blackened mahi mahi with sliced lemon.

Garnish with fresh lemon and serve with salad, rice, or pilaf.

COOKING TIPS

  • The key to a well-seared fish is a well-coated, hot pan. Warm a cast-iron skillet on medium and give it time to heat up before cooking the fish. 
  • Mahi-mahi is versatile and cooks well, but it’s still a lean fish; they will dry out if they overcook, and no one wants that.
  • How do you know when the fish is done cooking? When the fillet easily releases from the pan, it is done cooking. If it sticks, it’s not quite ready. Give it more time. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature; the safe internal temperature for mahi-mahi is 137° F (58° C).
  • Speaking of hot- there could be a lot of smoke!! Do yourself a favor and turn on your exhaust fan. I often remember when it’s already too late. 

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Blackened mahi mahi cooking in a cast-iron skillet.

FRESH OR FROZEN FILETS?

I’ve lived in landlocked states my whole life, so I am a big fan of frozen fish, especially mahi-mahi. The key to using frozen fish for this recipe is setting aside time for the fish to thaw properly. The best way to defrost mahi-mahi is to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and leave it there overnight.

If you’re in a hurry, add frozen fillets to a sealed bag (Costco filets have individual wrappers), and add them to a mixing bowl with cold water for about 10-15 minutes. If you have access to fresh fish, go for it!

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS

  • FRIDGE – After you’ve blackened the mahi-mahi, eat them within four days.
  • FREEZE – Cooked fish freezes for 2 months. Wrap the fillets tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to eat it, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – Line the fillets onto a rimmed baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven to 275° F (135° C). Cook for 15 minutes.
  • REPURPOSE – You can serve leftovers with fresh mango salsa; that’s our favorite. Break up the cooked fish and add it to a corn tortilla to make blackened mahi-mahi tacos. Top them with pico de gallo or serrano crema. Serve the fish with pilaf, or mix it with rice and black beans for a fun spin on a burrito bowl. Blackened mahi-mahi is the perfect protein to add to any chopped salad! Make a blackened mahi-mahi sandwich using avocado, cabbage, butter lettuce, and spicy mayo dressing on a fresh ciabatta bun.
Top blackened mahi mahi with fresh mango salsa and serve it with a side salad.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you know when the fish is done cooking? 

You will know the fish is done cooking when it easily releases from the pan. If it sticks, it’s not quite ready. Give it more time. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature; the safe internal temperature for mahi-mahi is 137° F (58° C).

How do you cook mahi-mahi in the oven?

Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack, and give it a quick spray with avocado oil. Line the fish onto the wire rack and bake at 375° F (190° C) for 8-10 minutes. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the fish; the safe internal temperature for mahi-mahi is 137° F (58° C).

How do you grill blackened mahi-mahi?

Prepare the grill and set the heat to 375° F (190° C). Cook the fish in a cast-iron skillet- the same way you would in an oven. Since every grill is different, I suggest checking the temperature and fish at the 4-minute mark.

Blackened mahi mahi pairs well with treated greens.

Blackened Mahi-Mahi

Tressa Jamil
Blackened mahi mahi is the perfect way to spice up your dinner rotation. Homemade blackened seasoning adds incredible flavor to fish that's ready and on the table in under an hour!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Cajun, Creole
Servings 4 people
Calories 188 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Salt the defrosted filets and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, pat them dry with a towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Lightly coat them with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  • Combine the ingredients for the blackening seasoning in a small bowl and generously cover both sides of the fish.
  • Warm avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it begins to smoke.
  • Once heated, carefully add 1-2 filets to the pan to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the filet. Repeat with the remaining filets (see note).
  • Garnish with fresh lemon and serve with salad, rice, or pilaf.

Notes

Cooking Tips: 
  • The key to a well-seared fish is a well-coated, hot pan. Warm a cast-iron skillet on medium and give it time to heat up before cooking the fish. 
  • Mahi-mahi is versatile and cooks well, but it’s still a lean fish; they will dry out if they overcook, and no one wants that.
  • How do you know when the fish is done cooking? When the fillet easily releases from the pan, it is done cooking. If it sticks, it’s not quite ready. Give it more time. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature; the safe internal temperature for mahi-mahi is 137° F (58° C).
  • Speaking of hot- there could be a lot of smoke!! Do yourself a favor and turn on your exhaust fan. I often remember when it’s already too late. 
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
Web Story:
  • Check out our web story for pan-seared blackened mahi-mahi!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 filletCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 22gFat: 9gSodium: 1133mgFiber: 2g
Keyword blackened mahi mahi, blackened mahi mahi recipe, pan seared mahi mahi
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




TW

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

The rub for this fish is amazing! I want to put it on everything. I am trying it on chicken next!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

We actually have a blackened chicken recipe coming out soon and that's exactly how we did it!

Kristine Corey

Monday 7th of March 2022

Love this recipe, will have to try the mango salsa too!

Tressa - Jamil Ghar Team

Sunday 13th of March 2022

Hey, thanks for commenting! You'll have to let us know what you think of the mango salsa when you're able to try it.