Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blackened Mahi-Mahi with Pan-Seared Vegetables

Recipe updated May 2015 

Broccolini, baby bok choy, red bell pepper, snow peas—all get sealed-in flavor with a quick pan-sear that enhances the natural taste of each vegetable. And it doesn't take much time: less than 10 minutes.

They pair well with sweet, mild mahi-mahi, and blackening the fish gives it a great char flavor to complement the pan-seared veggies. Blackening simply means coating pieces of meat, poultry, or fish with a spice mixture and searing them in a hot pan with a little oil or butter. Blackening spices commonly include black pepper, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried herbs. I used some of these here, plus ground coriander.

Tip: When blackening food, it’s important not to disturb it as it cooks—usually one turn of the spatula or tongs will do. This helps ensure that each side is properly blackened while the inside stays moist and tender.

Serves 4


For the Vegetables
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 small bunch broccolini, thick ends trimmed 
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into thin, 1-inch strips 
  • sea salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup chopped baby bok choy, stalks and leaves 
  • 3 oz. snow peas, cut in half lengthwise 
Side Dish Vegetables 
Prepared Vegetables

For the Mahi-Mahi

  • 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp chile powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander 
  • 4 5-oz. skinless mahi-mahi filets, about 1-inch thick 
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • sea salt 
  • fresh lemon juice, for drizzling 
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish 
Blackening Seasoning

For the Vegetables
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the broccolini and red bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Sear, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the bok choy and snow peas to the skillet and drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. Sear, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and lightly charred, 3 minutes.
Broccolini and Pepper Beginning to Sear
Bok Choy and Snow Peas Added

For the Mahi-Mahi
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients (through coriander) in a small bowl. Rub the filets with the spice mixture, coating both sides. Let stand 10 minutes. 
  2. Heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season the filets with salt and sear 3 minutes on one side. 
  3. Turn and sear 2-3 minutes longer, until the fish is blackened and just cooked through.
Spice-Rubbed Fish 
Fish Beginning to Cook
Divide the mahi-mahi among 4 plates and drizzle lightly with fresh lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve pan-seared vegetables alongside. 

Blackened Mahi-Mahi with Pan-Seared Vegetables

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