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Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos

Mahi Mahi blackened tacos make for a perfect weekday lunch or Taco Tuesday dinner. Combine seasoned blackened mahi-mahi, cabbage slaw, and avocado lime crema in a warm tortilla for a flavorful and delicious tacos you can make your own with your favorite taco toppings.

Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos on a plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • My mahi mahi blackened tacos feature fresh ingredients for a healthy lunch or dinner – perfect for meal prep
  • The flaky white fish is the perfect filling for tacos or taco salad.
  • Easy, healthy, and fast, the blackened mahi mahi tacos are a quick dinner idea when you’re in a pinch.

What is Blackened Mahi Mahi?

Mahi-mahi is a healthy 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 that’s the perfect balance of herbaceous and smokey.

Blackening is a Cajun cooking technique used to prepare fish, vegetables, and meat. The blackening process gives mahi-mahi a unique charred flavor while keeping it moist and succulent inside – all that color means flavor and lots of it!

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Mahi-Mahi: Mahi-mahi is a naturally sweet and mild fish, and it pairs perfectly with the robust flavor of the blackened seasoning. While fresh mahi-mahi is ideal, frozen filets work. Thaw the fillets and pat them dry before using in this recipe. I use frozen wild-caught mahi-mahi filets from Costco. 
  • Butter: Butter binds the blackened seasoning to the fish fillet.
  • Blackened Seasoning: Take a moment to check out my homemade blackened seasoning mix. It combines chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. If heat is an issue for you, skip the cayenne.
  • Cabbage Slaw: Create a crunchy slaw filling for the tacos using purple cabbage or green cabbage and finely chopped fresh cilantro. Flavor the fresh vegetables with homemade avocado lime crema to soften them for a perfect bite. 
  • Avocado Lime Crema: Process the avocados, cilantro, fresh garlic, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and salt and pepper in a food processor or blender to make the creamy sauce
  • Corn Tortillas: Warm corn tortillas are the best way to enjoy mahi mahi blackened tacos. Check out these tips and tricks for how to heat corn tortillas. You can also use flour tortillas, but there is nothing quite like the flavor of a soft corn tortilla. 

Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Fillets?

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!

Additions and Substitutions

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

For the best results, use a well-heated cast-iron skillet. You can also use a large nonstick skillet or a stainless steel saute pan, but preheat it beforehand to create a nonstick coating.

How to Make Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Salt the defrosted filets and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Fillets pat dry with a towel.

Step 2: Lightly coat them with melted butter using a pastry brush.

Fillets coated with butter.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients for the blackened seasoning in a small bowl and generously coat both sides of the fish.

Fillets coated with blackened seasoning.

Step 4: Warm the avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke.

Step 5: 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.

Mahi-mahi cooking in a pan.

Step 6: Set them aside to rest for 10 minutes, then slice the fish into smaller pieces.

Mahi-mahi cooking in a pan.

Step 7: Meanwhile, chop the ingredients for the slaw, prepare the crema in a food processor or blender, and warm the corn tortillas.

Pureed avocado lime crema in a blender.

Step 8: Prepare the tacos by adding slaw to the corn tortilla, followed by the blackened mahi-mahi, and finish the tacos with avocado lime crema to serve.

Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos on a plate.
Mahi mahi blackened tacos on a plate.

Expert Tips

  • The key to a well-seared fish for mahi mahi fish tacos is a well-coated, hot skillet. Warm a cast-iron skillet on medium and give it time to heat up before cooking the fish. Next, pat the fish dry to remove excess moisture for a guaranteed sear.
  • Mahi-mahi is versatile and cooks well, but it’s still a lean fish; it will dry out if they overcook, and no one wants that.
  • When the fillet easily releases from the pan, it’s 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 145°F (63°C).
  • Speaking of hot- there can 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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Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos on a plate.

What to Serve with Blackened Fish Tacos?

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate – Keep the leftover mahi mahi in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
  • Freeze – Cooked fish freezes for 4-6 months. Wrap the fillets in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Thaw: Defrost the fish in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat – Line the fillets onto a rimmed baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven to 275°F (135°C) for 15 minutes.
  • Repurpose – You can serve leftover blackened mahi-mahi with fresh mango pico de gallo – that’s my favorite! Top the fish with pico de gallo or serrano crema. Serve it with pilaf, or mix it with rice and black beans for a fun spin on a burrito bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does blackened mahi mahi taste like?

When seasoned with a spice blend like blackened seasoning, the fish develops a flavorful crust that adds a slight kick to the dish. Overall, the cooking technique provides the fish with a smoky, rich flavor that’s perfect for mahi mahi blackened tacos.

More Taco Recipes:

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Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos on a plate

Mahi Mahi Blackened Tacos

Tressa Jamil
Mahi Mahi blackened tacos make for a perfect weekday lunch or Taco Tuesday dinner. Fill a warm tortilla with juicy mahi-mahi, slaw, and crema.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Tacos
Calories 262 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the Blackened Seasoning:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Mahi-Mahi:
  • 4 mahi-mahi fillets
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning
For the Cabbage Slaw:
  • ¼ head of cabbage, thinly shredded
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the Avocado Lime Crema:
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, full-fat
  • lime juice, 1½ limes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons warm water, depending on your preferred consistency
Instructions
 
  • Salt the defrosted filets and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Lightly coat them with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  • Combine the ingredients for the blackened seasoning in a small bowl and generously coat both sides of the fish.
  • Warm the avocado oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil 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.
  • Set them aside to rest for 10 minutes, then slice the fish into smaller pieces.
  • Meanwhile, chop the ingredients for the slaw, prepare the crema in a food processor or blender, and warm the corn tortillas.
  • Prepare the tacos by adding slaw to the corn tortilla, followed by the blackened mahi-mahi, and finish the tacos with avocado lime crema to serve.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • The key to a well-seared fish for mahi mahi fish tacos is a well-coated, hot skillet. Warm a cast-iron skillet on medium and give it time to heat up before cooking the fish. Next, pat the fish dry to remove excess moisture for a guaranteed sear.
  • Mahi-mahi is versatile and cooks well, but it’s still a lean fish; it will dry out if they overcook, and no one wants that.
  • When the fillet easily releases from the pan, it’s 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 145°F (63°C).
  • Speaking of hot- there can 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.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Taco | Calories: 262 kcal | Carbohydrates: 17 g | Protein: 20 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 66 mg | Sodium: 506 mg | Potassium: 672 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 339 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 56 mg | Iron: 2 mg
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