Hey there and welcome to another installment of Grilling 101. This is the second blog in our seafood series, and following last week’s salmon blog, it only seems fair to talk about a white fish this week. And for this blog, I’ve decided to look at a fish that falls in the middle ground of commonly bought and expensive fish: the mahi-mahi.
The mahi-mahi, also known as the dolphin fish or very strong in Hawaiian, is a sub-tropical ocean fish. Due to its size and sizable population in the wild, mahi-mahi are commercially fished by countries all around the world, including the United States, Japan, the Caribbean Islands, Australia, France, and of course, Canada. This is mainly due to the fish’s relatively low mercury content, making it safer to regularly eat than other large saltwater fish, like swordfish and sailfish.
Like all fish, mahi-mahi is an excellent source of protein. Protein is one of the most essential nutrients for your body, as it assists in muscle growth, provides amino acids that form enzymes use by your cells to grow, and produces hemoglobin, which allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through your blood. Mahi-mahi also contains high traces of Vitamin B-5 and B-6. Both of these vitamins help your cells by supporting their metabolisms. Individually, Vitamin B-5 helps to produce hormones and B-6 helps with brain functions. Finally, mahi-mahi is loaded with potassium and selenium, two minerals that fight off heart disease and increase the strength of the immune system respectfully.
Grilling mahi-mahi isn’t too different than grilling salmon. However, you’re not going to be able to find whole dolphin fish easily, so chances are you’re going to be cooking with fillets. Before you work with the fish, your grill should be pre-oiled to help prevent it from sticking to the grill. This is especially easy for mahi-mahi, since it cannot be purchased with skin still attached, making it very easy to stick to your grill. However, I prefer to oil the fish rather than the grill; it produces the same results and means there is less clean up.
If you’re going to cook your fish directly on the grill, flip it every 5 to 10 minutes. If your fish is frozen, flip it when you begin to see one side turn white. It’s also recommended that you marinate the fish during the flipping process. You can use any kind of sauce you want for flavouring, but I recommend just using water, since the main intention of marinating during this time is to keep the fish from losing too much moisture and becoming dry. At this point you should sparingly flip the fish and test to see how flaky the flesh is becoming. This means that, if you press on the fish with your spatula or a fork, the flesh slides off in neat pieces. Once this happens, your meal is ready to go.
Of course, this is only one way of cooking a mahi-mahi. One of my favorite ways is to pan-sear it using butter and a cast-iron skillet on the grill. I hope you enjoy the mahi-mahi. It is a versatile fish and I’m sure you’ll soon develop your own facourite ways of cooking it up on the grill. Until next week, Happy Grilling!
- ¼ pounds mahi-mahi cut into 4 portions.
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed.
- Cooking spray, preferably canola oil.
- ½ teaspoon salt plus a pinch, divided.
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.
- 2 tablespoons butter.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place fish and asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat both sides with cooking spray. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Oil the grill rack. Place asparagus on one side, perpendicular to the grates; place the fish on the other side.
- Grill the fish, turning once, until opaque, 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness); grill the asparagus, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Place butter, lemon juice and the pinch of salt in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High to melt the butter, about 25 seconds.
- Drizzle each portion of fish and asparagus with about 1 tablespoon of the lemon butter.
- Makes 4 servings.