Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi With Lime Marinade

Fish, salad, and potatoes on white plate
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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinating Time: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
672 Calories
24g Fat
76g Carbs
70g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 672
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 109mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 28%
Dietary Fiber 47g 169%
Protein 70g
Calcium 89mg 7%
*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 lime juice (fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped very fine)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
  • splash dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 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)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

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

  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). 

  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.  


  • 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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