Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi Recipe With Lime Marinade

Healthy Fish Dinner
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  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 fillets (4 servings)
Ratings (4)

This easy recipe for pan-seared mahi-mahi with a lime marinade makes a perfect warm-weather dinner. When you want something quick, easy, and delicious—in other words, you don’t want to slave away in a hot kitchen—this dish works just as well on the grill. 

Mahi-Mahi is a species of dolphin, though it should not be confused with the delightful mammal dolphin that dances on the water on its tail, chattering away. In fact, this fish was always called dolphin until the Hawaiians decided they had to differentiate between the two species. At that point, they renamed the edible version mahi-mahi.

These fish are native to tropical and subtropical waters. They're at their best in May, although they're available—and very good—from mid-spring through late summer.  

What You'll Need

  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets mahi-mahi
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped very fine)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
  • Optional: splash white wine (dry, be generous)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (sea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 bunch watercress (large, stems removed)
  • 2 plum tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 12 green olives (Spanish or Cerignola)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)

How to Make It

  1. Place the fish fillets into a rectangular baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, olive oil, and wine.
  3. Pour the marinade mixture over the fish, turning to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the fillets from the marinade and sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
  5. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish and brown the fillets until they're just opaque in the center (about 4 to 5 minutes per side). 
  1. Divide the watercress among 4 plates. Arrange the tomato slices, the olives, and a lime wedge on each plate. Place a fillet on top of the watercress and serve.  

Tips and Variations

If it's too hot to fuss in the kitchen, cook the fillets on an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Place them rounded side down and grill for about 5 minutes or until you can lift a fillet without it sticking to the grill. Gently turn the fillets over and cook for an additional 5 minutes on the other side. 

Whether you prepare the mahi-mahi on the stove or on a grill, take care not to overcook it. This is a somewhat fatty fish, but it will still become dry if overcooked. 

Serving Suggestions

Cilantro pesto, salsa verde, or Romesco sauce are all great toppings for this simple dish. Spoon any of them over the fillets after you've arranged them on plates. 

This fish is great when served with a zesty guacamole or salsa cruda and tortilla chips. You can also try it with roasted asparagus, steamed corn on the cob, Mexican-style grilled corn, or a spicy corn salad

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 672
Total Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 13 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 109 mg
Carbohydrates 76 g
Dietary Fiber 47 g
Protein 70 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)