Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi With Lime Marinade

Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi With Lime Marinade

The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinating Time: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 fillets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
319 Calories
13g Fat
9g Carbs
42g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 595mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 74mg 369%
Calcium 223mg 17%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1444mg 31%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 sweat in a hot kitchen—this dish works just as well on the grill. 

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


  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets mahi-mahi

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 splash dry white wine

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or grapeseed oil

  • 1 large bunch watercress, stems removed

  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 12 Spanish or Cerignola green olives

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi With Lime Marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Place the fish fillets into a rectangular baking dish.

    Place the fish fillets into a rectangular baking dish

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, olive oil, and wine.

    whisk together the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, olive oil, and wine in a bowl

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Pour the marinade mixture over the fish, turning to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.

    marinade poured over fish in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Remove the fillets from the marinade and sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.

    fish fillet seasoned with salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. 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). 

    mahi-mahi cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  7. 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.  

    Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi With Lime Marinade on plates

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar


  • 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. 
  • 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

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