Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Fish Hungry: Blackened Mahi-mahi

It was a pleasant morning as morning’s go. To be adrift out on a local waterway. Sunbeams glittering over the surface. Egrets and Blue Herons milling in the shallows. And a IMG_25501light-green, haze, signifying a budding spring, adorning every bush and every tree. The symphonic serenade of a thousand and one bird songs, mingle with that of dipping paddles, peeling fly line, flipping bails, and 1/32 ounce jigs clad in soft plastics, plopping in the drink. I drifted slowly along the wooded shoreline, resolutely plying the waters there, fishing rod in hand, with a clear, albeit idealistic mission – to catch a fish. Running this site, and eating T-bone steaks is great, and ribs sure do hit the spot, but I’ve been getting what they call “fish hungry” lately, and I aimed to do something about it. And today I might have even, had not I been such a lousy fisherman. Seems I departed the lake this morning with my stringer in void, not to mention my stomach. I was fish-less, and still, as it were, fish hungry.

Being the problem solver that I am, however, I did what any red-blooded, fish-hungry American would do. I stopped by the grocer on the way home and I bought me a fish! Mahi-mahi, to be exact. A lovely fare that which swims the oceans yonder, that at the time, seemed more than suitable for my needs. Let’s head back to the pit, and I’ll tell you more about it, and how it went and came to be.


Mahi-mahi, according to the Hawaiian interpretation, means very strong. By the looks of it, I’d say they’re probably right on that. A surface-dwelling, ray-finned fish known to inhabit tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate waters. They average about 15 to 29 pounds, can live up to 5 years of age, are highly sought after in sport fishing, and they sure as heck don’t live in Minnesota. But you can buy the meat of the Mahi-Mahi here, in point of fact, you can buy it all over the place. And man do they go good on the grill. Here’s how to do it.


Whilst the pit heated up, we patted dry two chunks of the tender fish, rubbed them in a coat olive oil, then, feeling Cajun or something akin, dusted them liberally with a blackened spice rub. Mahi-mahi is a non-fish lover’s fish. Meaning if you don’t fancy the flavor of fish, yet want to eat fish, then this is the fish for you. Very mild in fishy flavor, irrepressibly moist, and with the ensuing spice conglomerate, a delicious fare fit for the finest dinner table. Blackened spice is a real easy blend, and extremely tasty. A fish rub worthy of your time. Here is how to make it.

Blackened Spice Rub

  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon each, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil and dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (increase this if you like a little burn on the lips)
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


Next step, and for artistic reasons only, we pre-heated the cast iron grate and coated it in a bit peanut oil for to secure the cosmetic beach-head of any would-be grill jockey – grill marks. Sear the fillets for a minute or so per side, just enough to get some nice grate lines. It doesn’t take long to cook these fish. They also are remarkably robust and hold together astoundingly well for this sort of grilling. Save your expensive planks for more delicate fish than this. You will be hard pressed, we wager, to dry out Mahi-mahi. Anyways, after some nice char marks were in vogue, we escorted the meat back to the cool side of the pit, opposite the hot coals, to loiter indirect there for the rest of the cook. The next item on the menu, is a little grilled asparagus, green and tender, for to please the lady folk. And it couldn’t be easier to do.


Grilled Mahi mahi and Asparagus Spears

Marinating Asparagus

To amp up the flavor a bit, we had these asparagus spears soaking for a couple of hours in a simple marinade involving, but not limited to: Olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

Roast the asparagus over direct heat for a couple of minutes, rolling them like a batch of hot dogs for even cooking, until your desired tenderness is reached, and then tuck them back opposite the hot coals, keeping the fish company for the rest of the cook. Speaking of, you’ll want to flip the fish fillets according to your pit master instincts. Do what you need to do. It’s a rather quick cooking meal, unfortunately. Maybe 15 minutes at most. Denying the pit keeper the much coveted down time for the all-important business of drawing a lovely beverage and watching the clouds idle past a pastel sky. But I guess that is what ribs are for. Anyways, when the fish flakes easily with a fork, your dinner is done. Plate up thy spoils at hand, and commence with what you do best! Amen.


Blackened Mahi mahi asparagus

Blackened Mahi-mahi sided with marinated Asparagus hot off the grill. Man! Can you taste it! So if you’re looking for something sort of fishy for your next BBQ, and lack the angling mojo to catch your own, try this one out for sure. You shan’t go wrong. Nor be fish hungry.






43 responses

  1. I love Mahi-mahi! However, the other day I asked Mr. T (my son) if he wanted blacked chicken Cesar salad for dinner. To which he responded “Doesn’t blackened just mean that you burned it?”

    May 8, 2014 at 9:38 am

    • Haha, what can you do. I trust you enlightened the lad!

      Thanks much Kate, have a great day!

      May 8, 2014 at 9:45 am

  2. Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.

    May 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

  3. Very, very nice!

    May 8, 2014 at 9:43 am

  4. I like your CI grate for the kettle. Do tell, where’d you get them?

    May 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    • Oh I can tell you, Mr Quincho! We wrote a review on them a while back, and it has been a love affair ever since.

      Head to to learn more.

      Or read our write up of craycort grills in the review tab at the top of our page.

      Yeah, they’re nice grates indeed.

      May 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

  5. Mahi is on my list of favorite fish to eat. (Snook, Redfish, Crappie, etc.) Mahi happens to be the sweetest of them. Dang, now I’m hungry again.

    May 8, 2014 at 10:36 am

    • Well, I know I like Crappie and Mahi, but I’ve never had occasion to try Redfish or Snook. I know them anglers down in Florida love those fish, and if you do too, well that’s good enough for me! Speaking of Floridian fish, I saw of video on Jacks recently, What a goofy fish! Ever ate one of them? Or would you dare!

      May 8, 2014 at 10:49 am

      • Jacks AKA: Jack Crevalle are great fighters. I’ve had the pleasure to battle them on the flats.They are said to be extremely oily and bloody to the taste. These attributes explain why Micanopy Indians used them for fertilizing crops. Keep up the good work guys.

        May 8, 2014 at 2:05 pm

  6. Mahi Mahi is also called Dolphin on the Gulf Coast. (No relation to the mammal by the same name.) I have long known it as a good fish for the grill and some of the best I’ve had was bought from the fish market in Galveston, cooked the same day it was caught.

    May 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

    • Brilliant! Some days it’s good to live near the coast. Thanks for your thoughts and ponderings!

      May 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

  7. boomasbbq

    Love me some blackened fish! Nice work

    May 8, 2014 at 3:45 pm

  8. That looks great PotP. I am making some chili lime red drum tonight with asparagus. You have inspired me to post!

    May 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

  9. AgileWriter

    I’ll definitely try this weekend.
    Do try fruity fish..

    May 9, 2014 at 1:14 am

    • That looks tasty. Thanks for sharing!

      May 9, 2014 at 9:57 am

      • AgileWriter

        You are always welcome. Do look into more of my recipes…

        May 12, 2014 at 12:05 am

      • AgileWriter

        You are always welcome…

        May 12, 2014 at 6:50 am

  10. laurie27wsmith

    When all is lost, sally forth to the grocer and buy. If he throws it to you, you can say that you caught it. 😉 A great recipe and a lovely description of your err, fishing prowess. Don’t fret, I catch myself, rocks and seagulls when I fish. The prized fish here in Oz is the Barramundi They are delicious and cook beautifully on a BBQ. I haven’t fished for them but mmm, I’ve eaten a few. Thanks guys, another great post.

    May 9, 2014 at 4:27 am

    • Now that’s a fish! Wow. I’ve heard of them, but that’s about it.

      My fishing prowess seems directly correlated to whether I want to keep a fish for supper or not. If I weren’t fish hungry, I probably would have landed all matter of them.

      Thanks Laurie!

      May 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

      • laurie27wsmith

        A fish indeed! I hate that when you don’t want something you get it in spades. Loving your blog PotP.

        May 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

  11. Debbie Spivey

    To me Mahi-Mahi is “swimming steak”. I am totally jealous of this posting!! Looks so yummy!!

    May 9, 2014 at 8:04 am

    • Great description. It is a delicious cut of meat. I shall be expecting a mahi post from you soon then!

      May 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

      • Debbie Spivey

        I wish I could get my hands one one or better yet a hook in one 😉

        May 9, 2014 at 10:15 am

  12. I tried Mahi-mahi for the first time about a year ago. Very tastey. My wife just began marinating certain vegatables and potatos, and I now much prefer them that way.

    May 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

    • No kidding! Yeah, we don’t get Mahi-mahi much either, but its always been delicious when we do. I surely do fancy it.

      It’s is good your wife is tricking you into eating more vegetables. She’s good that way!

      Thanks Rick!

      May 9, 2014 at 10:07 am

  13. suziecfisher

    Yum! I also love grilling, but really I’m just baby-sitting the grill drinking a glass of cold white wine in my garden. Sometimes the occasional onerous task of ‘testing’ happens. One day I may eat my entire dinner standing up at the grill.

    May 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    • Classic. Say what you will, but that there is the good life. Thanks for chiming in!

      May 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

  14. Liz

    I am now craving grilled fish. Spectacularly spectacular. And I see the hint of grilled asparagus, too. Yay, spring!

    May 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    • Here here, spring is here! And it’s about time ain’t it.

      Thanks kindly Liz!

      May 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  15. Brilliant! Never thought of marinating asparagus. I must be looking into this.

    May 10, 2014 at 5:53 am

  16. … and where’s the steamed white rice then POTP if you are to eat a ‘Hawaiian’ fish? ALOHA!

    May 11, 2014 at 7:03 am

  17. I grew up knowing in my heart that all edible fish should be rectangular and served with mac and cheese. Imagine my surprise when, as a special treat, my then-future-mother-in-law prepared redfish as God created it. I gazed upon the meal. It gazed back. I was shaken to my very core. I’ve broadened my fishy horizons since then. All sorts of meals have looked me square in the eye over the years. All part of being the Deerslayer’s Wife, I suppose. Anywho, I think I’ll head to the grocer for some Mahi mahi. Your preparation looks fabulous, as always.

    May 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    • I finer crafted response to a mahi mahi post I cannot divine. Nicely put mrs. Deerslayer! I’d love to get my hands on some redfish, but that just isn’t found around here. Yet mahi mahi is. Go figure

      May 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

  18. Mahi mahi, check. Asparagus, check. Dry rub ingredients, check. Marinade ingredients, check. 15 minutes to grill all? Bless you!

    May 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

  19. Pingback: Fish Hungry: Blackened Mahi-mahi | My Meals are on Wheels

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