Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi is prepared with a flavorful orange soy marinade which features lots of bright,lively flavors. The firm but mild fish lets the sauce flavors shine. This healthy recipe is on the table in well under 30 minutes.
We pull a bit of the marinade aside before adding the fish. This reserved sauce gets put on top of the fish as it finishes cooking, adding a bit more of the bright, orange soy flavor.
The basic approach for this pan-seared mahi mahi is based on the method I frequently use making this Simple Pan Seared Salmon recipe. And for another good stovetop seafood recipe, check out our Pan Seared Sea Bass.
What is Mahi Mahi?
Mahi Mahi is a fish found in warm waters around the world. As this article explains, the name comes from the Hawaiian for “strong strong”.
The English name for the fish is the common dolphinfish. The name mahi mahi is preferred to avoid confusion with the mammal. This approach hasn’t entirely worked, as one friend refuses my offers of mahi mahi because of the confusing linkage with the term dolphin.
The white flesh of mahi mahi is pretty firm, more so than say haddock, and the flavors are mild. That creates a good palette for showcasing our tasty orange soy sauce for mahi mahi!
Tips for making the recipe
This tasty mahi mahi recipe comes together easily in under 30 minutes. Here are a few tips, scroll down to the recipe card for the details:
- Be sure you pull out the 2 tablespoons of marinade for topping the fish before adding the mahi mahi. Because that portion won’t be fully cooked, you don’t want it mingling with the raw fish.
- I originally made this recipe with fresh mahi mahi that was ready to cook. But I recently got a good sized bag of frozen mahi mahi fillets for my stay at home stash. Both options work well.
- The recipe refers to the “skin side” of the mahi mahi fillet. You may wind up with a fillet that has the skin already removed, that is fine.
- The recipe indicates you can use fresh or dried ginger and garlic. Try to use at least one of them fresh. Fresh ginger really does add nice lively flavor to the mahi mahi.
|Mahi Mahi soaking up some tastiness!|
What to serve with mahi mahi
OK, I’m talking about what to serve with mahi mahi in addition to wine, I will get to that in a moment.
We have enjoyed this mahi mahi recipe served with a side of pasta. Most recently we had the fish with kale pesto pasta, and that was a good combo, especially with the Sauvignon Blanc that was served.
Couscous or quinoa would be another good side dish option for this fish recipe.
More Mahi Mahi Recipes
Mahi Mahi is great fish for serving with some flavorful preparations. Check out these recipes for more ideas!
Our remaking of this pan-seared mahi mahi coincided with our sampling the 2019 Gilgal Sauvignon Blanc ($20, 13.5% ABV) from the Golan Heights Winery in Israel. More on the winery in this recent article.
The Gilgal Sauvignon Blanc is a very light straw color in the glass. Kiwi and herbal notes on the nose — a bit of white tea perhaps? On the palate, light lemon fruit with a pop of bright flavor on the back of palate. Medium bodied with a clean finish.
The Sauv Blanc is a pretty good pairing with the mahi mahi, and the overall meal pairing was enhanced by the kale pesto pasta on the plate.
I will have to remake the dish again soon to test out some other pairings. I am thinking Riesling and some fish friendly Italian whites would be worth a try. Perhaps an unoaked Chardonnay as well. Let me know if you come up with something that works well!
Get more information about the Golan Heights Winery coming up on Saturday, including a pairing for the Sauv Blanc that was a big hit.Print
Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Orange Soy Marinade
Mahi Mahi with a flavorful orange soy marinade gets quickly pan-seared for a flavorful and healthy main course.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 8 mins
- Total Time: 23 mins
- Yield: 3 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- ¼ tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar (or substitute another vinegar on hand)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 inch fresh ginger, minced (or pinch dried ginger)
- 1 scallion, chopped (optional)
- 12 ozs mahi mahi fillet
- oil spray
- Make the marinade: Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl–soy sauce, orange juice, ginger, garlic, honey and scallion, if using. Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade to a separate small bowl before adding the fish to the marinade. Reserve these 2 tablespoons for later.
- Prep the fish: Rinse and pat dry the mahi mahi. Place the mahi mahi in the larger bowl with most of the marinade. Gently toss the fish so that it is well combined with the marinade. Set aside, and let the mahi mahi marinade for about 10 minutes.
- Pan-sear mahi mahi: Coat a large nonstick skillet with the cooking oil, and heat on medium high heat. Add the mahi mahi, skin side down*. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn the mahi mahi over to the other side. Cook for 2 more minutes, then turn the fish over one more time, to cook for a final two minutes, skin side down.
- Finish the fish: After turning the fish over for the final 2 minutes of cooking, take the reserved 2 tablespoons of orange soy sauce and spread evenly over the fish. This will add extra flavor as the mahi mahi finishes cooking. After 8 minutes cooking time, check to see that the mahi mahi is cooked through. Remove if it’s done, or allow another minute or two of cooking if needed.
- Serve: Remove the mahi mahi from the pan. Divide into portions approximately 4 ounces each to serve. Enjoy! We like the dish with a side of pasta.
- Your mahi mahi might come with the skin removed. If so, the “skin side down” instruction will just refer to the first side that faces the pan’s direct heat.
- We note that you can use fresh garlic and ginger, or the dried version. I suggest you use at least one of those two ingredients fresh, if possible.
Keywords: mahi mahi, pan seared mahi mahi, mahi mahi with orange sauce