When I was in college I spent a summer working down in Key Largo, Florida at an exclusive club. It was a fun summer, but I worked hard, too. You can probably imagine I had some great seafood that summer. Two things I remember fondly are conch fritters and blackened mahi mahi. While the conch fritters were yummy, the mahi mahi stuck with me for years after that summer and it was probably one of the best things I had ever eaten. I’m sure it was probably about as fresh as you can get it.
Fast forward about 15 – 18 years and I still love the dish, but now I can make it myself. Trader Joe’s sells some great frozen mahi mahi (without any solution or additives) for about 5.99 a pound so it’s extremely reasonable. I was using the bottled blackened seasoning, but it was a little bit too spicy for my girls so I decided to make my own this time around and it was awesome and I had everything in my spice cabinet.
One of the distinct flavors in good blackened seasoning (besides the pepper) is thyme. I love this herb – especially in this seasoning because it pairs so wonderfully with the spiciness of the cayenne. I think you will like the recipe for the seasoning and you can certainly use it on chicken or other seafood with great success. It has some kick so be prepared!
Mahi Mahi, if you have never tried it, is a great fish for people who aren’t seafood fans. It’s very mild and it holds up really well to grilling. It only takes a few minutes on each side to cook through so it’s also a good choice if you aren’t used to grilling fish.
Try this today – it does pack some good heat so if you aren’t a fan of really hot dishes just scale back the pepper in the spice mix. Enjoy!
- 1 lb fresh or frozen and thawed mahi mahi fillets
- 2 Tablespoons paprika
- 1 Tablespoon each, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon each dried basil and dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (More if you want it spicier)
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Mix the blackened seasoning ingredients in a small bowl - set aside (everything except the mahi mahi.) You may have extra seasoning, but I do like to use a lot of this.
- Turn the grill on to a medium high heat (we usually let it get up to about 400 degrees.)
- Wash the fish and then pat dry. Coat with a little bit of olive oil and then apply the blackened seasoning liberally and all over the fish - top and bottom. I like to press it in a little bit so I know it sticks.
- Put the fish on the grill across the grates so you will get some nice grill marks. When the fish starts to release some of it's juices and turns kind of white in the middle flip it over. It will probably take a little bit less time on the second side. When it feels firm and looks white and no longer translucent it is done. You will probably have it on the grill for about 10 minutes total
- Serve immediately and sprinkle with some lemon juice.