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"You Know How We Do It" grilled mahi mahi with papaya-tequila lime sauce

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If you're looking for a delicious seafood dinner, grilled mahi mahi is where it's at! This lean white fish is flavorful and easy to grill up, making it the perfect meal when you're short on time.

Plus, mahi mahi is packed with vitamins and minerals - so you can feel good about eating healthy. Absolutely delicious! And don't forget to season your mahi mahi generously before tossing it on the grill. With just a few simple ingredients, you'll have an amazing grilled mahi mahi recipe that everyone will rave about!

The fish is simply seasoned with dry jerk seasoning then quickly grilled and served over a delicious papaya tequila sauce. The boozy sweet sauce brings the seasoned fish alive elevating a weeknight dish to BOSS status!

What Kind of Fish is Mahi Mahi?

Mahi mahi, also known as dorado or dolphin fish, is a large surface-dwelling fish found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters. It has a strong, flavorful flesh that's comparable to swordfish - it's a great fish for dishes like tacos and ceviche.

Mahi mahi meat typically has a mild flavor but has a higher ratio of moisture than tuna or swordfish, which gives it its unique texture

grilled mahi mahi on top of red papaya sauce and topped with blackeyed pea salad

MOOD MUSIC

This recipe came together after a guys fishing trip in Mexico. We caught a lot of mahi mahi and for one dish the in-house chef made a tequila based sauce with it. Of all the recipes grilled mahi mahi was my favorite. It was a great trip and we did it big!

guy holding large mahi mahi fish

Grilled Mahi Mahi Ingredients

The papaya-tequila sauce is amazing even though it uses only a handful of simple ingredients. Many mahi mahi recipes call for a mango salsa, but the papaya sauce has a more unique flavor and elevates the recipe.

For the Fish

For the Sauce

  • Tequila
  • Lime Juice
  • Fresh Papaya
  • Honey
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

Grilled Mahi Mahi Instructions

Make the Sauce

Peel and de-seed the papaya. Chop into chunks then puree in blender with tequila and lime juice. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the pureed mix plux honey and spices. Mix well and reduce to thicker consistency.

Grilled Mahi Mahi Instructions

Make the Sauce

Peel and de-seed the papaya. Chop into chunks then puree in a blender with tequila and lime juice. Set aside in a small bowl until ready to use.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the pureed mix plux honey and spices. Mix well and reduce to a thicker consistency

Grill the Fish Fillets

Cook the Fish Instructions

  • Lightly brush the mahi mahi with olive oil and season with the jerk spice mixture.
mahi mahi with jerk spice on a cutting board
  • If preparing on an outdoor grill, lightly oil the grill grates otherwise lightly oil a grill pan if grilling indoor.
  • Grill fresh fish skin side down over coals or internally on a grill pan on medium-high heat or under a broiler for 3-4 minutes per side.
mahi mahi in grill pan
mahi mahi grilling
  • Feel free to serve with the papaya-tequila sauce and top with black-eyed pea salad
grilled mahi mahi on top of red papaya sauce and topped with blackeyed pea salad

Cooking Variations

This dish works with other white fish. Snapper is always a good choice. The key is choosing a fish that stands up to the grill well. Salmon, steelhead, bass are also other good options.

If you don't have access to papaya, I've used mango as well. With mango I prefer fresh, but frozen works pretty well too. You'll just need to plan ahead and leave at room temperature for a while.

Jerk is my favorite seasoning and I keep a jar mixed up and on hand like salt and pepper. Feel free to buy store bought from your favorite local or online spice shop. Or you can keep it simple and go with salt and pepper.

Cooking Considerations and Recipe Tips

The liquor is not fully cooked off so limit the sauce to adults only. This is also reason to choose a quality tequila. You don't want one with a lot of bite to it.

Feel free to make the sauce a day ahead to save time.

Allow the raw fish to reach room temperature before grilling.

Use fresh mahi mahi fillets. The fresher the better.

Use a high smoke point oil like avocado oil, peanut oil, or plane vegetable oil.

Make sure you're adding the mahi mahi filets to a hot grill otherwise the skin will stick to the pan.

Depending on how it's cut the fish

Grilled mahi mahi pairs well with many different sides. I made this fresh, light black-eyed pea salad a few days prior and reserved some for this dish. The salad has a clean taste making it a good fit with the vibrant sauce. The black-eyed pea salad adds some heft to the dish to ensure a full belly.

For a little bit of a kick add Hot Pepper Sauce.

The papaya sauce is excellent but an alternative to a more tropical flavor would be a good pesto based sauce. Just keep in mind that mahi mahi is a mild fish so you don't want flavors that are too overpowering.

For even more amazing flavor squeeze some lime juice and a bir of lime zest over the fish before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cooking Mahi Mahi

Where can you buy mahi mahi fish?

Mahi mahi has become common enough in most parts that you can find it in many grocery stores. However, if you have access to a fishmonger or a specialty seafood store I'd recommend going that route as you're likely to find fresher, better quality fish. Fish markets are also a great option

What do you serve with mahi mahi?

The black-eyed pea salad goes a long way. It pairs well with collard greens or mustard greens plus maybe a side of rice and some crusty bread. This should actually be enough, but a good key lime pie might make for a great finishing touch.

What kind of grill do I need to make this recipe?

You can use pretty much any type of grill. A gas grill is probably your best bet given the convenience factor. You can also use a cast iron grill pan to grill indoors. Whether you use an outdoor grill or indoor the key will be cooking at the right temperature.

MORE GRILLED FISH RECIPES

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

Grilled Salmon Fillet

Smoked Trout

Tea Rubbed Salmon

For another papaya based recipe try this Blackberry Sorbet

make the recipe

Mahi mahi is a delicious and healthy type of fish that's perfect for grilling. This recipe is easy to follow and produces perfectly grilled mahi mahi every time. So fire up the grill and give this recipe a try! You'll be glad you did.

If you make this grilled mahi mahi recipe or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

grilled mahi mahi on top of red papaya sauce and topped with blackeyed pea salad

Jerk Grilled Mahi Mahi w/ Papaya-Tequila Lime Sauce

Mahi mahi fish grilled to perfection and served with bright, flavorful papaya-tequila lime sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Modern Soul Food
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

Mahi Mahi Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds mahi mahi cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon jerk spice

Red Papaya Tequila Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 medium lime juiced
  • 1 pound ripe red papaya peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • ¼ cup quality silver tequila
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

Cook the Fish Instructions

  • Lightly brush the mahi mahi on both sides with olive oil and season to taste with jerk seasoning
  • Lightly oil the grill grids
  • Grill over coals or internally on a grill pan or under a broiler for 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Serve the fish with the black-eyed pea salad on top.

Make the Sauce Instructions

  • Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Heat butter in medium sauce pan. Add the sauce plus honey and spices. Mix well and reduce to desired consistency.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

The liquor is not fully cooked off so limit the sauce to adults only. This is also reason to choose a quality tequila. You don't want one with a lot of bite to it.
Feel free to make the sauce a day ahead to save time.
Allow the raw fish to reach room temperature before grilling.
Use fresh mahi mahi fillets. The fresher the better.
Use a high smoke point oil like avocado oil, peanut oil, or plane vegetable oil.
Make sure you're adding the mahi mahi filets to a hot grill otherwise the skin will stick to the pan.
Depending on how it's cut the fish
Grilled mahi mahi pairs well with many different sides. I made this fresh, light black-eyed pea salad a few days prior and reserved some for this dish. The salad has a clean taste making it a good fit with the vibrant sauce. The black-eyed pea salad adds some heft to the dish to ensure a full belly.
For a little bit of a kick add Hot Pepper Sauce.
The papaya sauce is excellent but an alternative to a more tropical flavor would be a good pesto based sauce. Just keep in mind that mahi mahi is a mild fish so you don't want flavors that are too overpowering.
For even more amazing flavor squeeze some lime juice and a bir of lime zest over the fish before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 974mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2029IU | Vitamin C: 74mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating




Maddy

Monday 19th of December 2022

The papaya sauce on mahi mahi was so good! This is different from anything I've really tried on a fish but I will certainly be enjoying it again soon.

Kristina

Monday 19th of December 2022

I love jerk sauce but have only had it on chicken until now. So glad I tried it on fish! It was amazing- definitely a keeper!

Colleen

Monday 19th of December 2022

We love mahi mahi and when I saw this recipe I had to get some. I'm so glad I did because we loved it. The sauce is perfect!

Zhen

Monday 19th of December 2022

You had me at tequila lime. It sounded so good I had to try it and it tasted delicious! Great way to use up the papayas from my garden!

Marie

Sunday 18th of December 2022

This is such an incredibly flavorful, gorgeous dish! The sauce comes together super easily and it's truly spectacular. I feel like it would be equally delicious with grilled shrimp, too!