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!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce

Thick-cut mahi-mahi steaks are perfect for the grill—kind of like big, juicy beef steaks, only lighter. Mahi-mahi is mild in flavor and hearty in texture—hearty enough to stand up to a bold sauce and the heat of the grill.

Here, the sauce is a little sweet, spicy, salty, and savory all at once. Hoisin is a thick, sweet, soybean-based sauce that you can find in the international sections of most supermarkets. Sambal oelek is simply fresh ground chile paste that’s also readily available in supermarkets. It adds great flavor and heat that’s not overpowering.

Serves 2

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling grill grate
  • 2 tsp finely chopped peeled ginger, divided
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 7-oz mahi-mahi steaks, about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 2 tsp hoisin
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped tarragon

Mahi-Mahi Steaks

Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon ginger, and garlic in a sturdy, zip-top bag. Place the mahi-mahi in the bag, seal, and turn several times to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Fish in Marinade
  1. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, sambal oelek, hoisin, honey, vinegar, and tarragon in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest while the fish grills.

Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce
  1. Light a grill for medium heat with space for off-heat cooking.
  2. Remove the fish from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Rub the grill grate (on- and off-heat sides) with oil. Place the mahi-mahi over direct heat and grill until grill marks appear, about 1 minute. Turn and grill 1 minute on the other side.
  3. Continue grilling, moving the fish off heat as needed, until tender and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side longer, depending on thickness. Just before the fish is done, brush with a little of the sauce.
Beginning to Grill

After 1st Turn

Almost Done

Brushed with Sauce
To serve, plate the mahi-mahi and drizzle the remaining sauce on top.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce


  1. This looks delicious and I'm not a fish fan. Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? Hope to see you again next week!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

    1. Thanks, Linda! (I think the sauce would work on chicken too :)