blackened mahi mahi sandwiches | confections of a dietitian

Colin loves to go fishing. It is, without a doubt, his favorite hobby. He grew up in Wisconsin and, I’m pretty sure, spent most of his summers, and winters, fishing. Moving to Okinawa posed a little bit of a challenge to continue this hobby. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fishing in Okinawa, but deep sea fishing is much different than lake fishing (from what he’s told me, of course). Being the fisherman that he is, he was up for the challenge and our freezer has never been empty since. (His favorite “excuse” to use to go fishing is when we are down to only 2-3 meals of fish in our freezer.)

blackened mahi mahi sandwiches | confections of a dietitian
Pure happiness while holding his latest mahi mahi catch.

There are all sorts of fish to catch in the ocean here, but he usually brings home yellowfin and skipjack tuna and mahi mahi. Fortunately for me, mahi mahi is my favorite type of fish. It’s a firm, white fish that’s pretty mild (not fishy tasting at all) and holds up well to all forms of cooking. I first fell in love with mahi mahi thanks to a phenomenally simple blackened mahi mahi sandwich at a dockside restaurant in the Florida Keys. When Colin’s latest fishing trip filled every last inch of our freezer with fish, I knew I needed to recreate this magical sandwich.

blackened mahi mahi sandwiches | confections of a dietitian

Luckily, this sandwich is not hard to make at all. Blackening seasoning is just a mixture of spices that you probably have in your cupboard. Most people can probably buy blackening seasoning, but I like to make my own so I can adjust the salt and spice levels. This recipe is mildly spicy with lots of great flavor! We have pan seared (the traditional way to blacken) and grilled the mahi mahi, both with great success. As I mentioned earlier, mahi mahi is a firm fish, so it holds up much like a burger would. The tartar sauce balances the blackening seasoning well, adding creaminess and a vinegar-y tang to the sandwich. It’s not a condiment I would skip! Fresh rolls or bread is a must, as well as lettuce, tomato and whatever other toppings you’d like (we added avocado last time and it was great)! Served with our favorite sweet potato fries, side salad or veggie sticks, this is a delicious, healthy and quick weeknight meal. Now that this meal is on constant rotation at our house, I have a little bit more room in my freezer, although I’m sure that won’t last long.

blackened mahi mahi sandwiches | confections of a dietitian

Blackened Mahi Mahi Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

    For the blackening seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
    For the tartar sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
    For the sandwiches:
  • 4, 4-6oz mahi mahi filets
  • 4 Kaiser rolls or 8 sliced bread
  • Lettuce, tomato and any additional toppings

Instructions

    To make the blackening seasoning:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside. Can be stored in an airtight container or zip bag for future use.
    To make the tartar sauce:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill pickles and lemon juice until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    To make the fish:
  1. Preheat grill or large skillet (with 2 tablespoons olive oil) over medium high heat.
  2. Pat mahi mahi filets dry with a paper towel. Generously season all sides of the fish with blackening seasoning.
  3. Cook filets over medium high heat until center reaches 140 degrees, flipping halfway through cooking.
  4. Serve filets on rolls or between two slices of bread, topped with tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato and any other additional toppings.

Notes

1. If your mahi mahi filets still have the skin on (ours always do), just season the flesh side with blackening seasoning and cook accordingly. The skin will peel off really easily once the filets are cooked. This is much easier (and safer) than trying to cut the skin off of the filet when it is raw.

Recipe adapted from Mario Batali

Serving Size: 1 sandwich Calories: 447kcal Carbohydrate: 34g Fat: 17g Protein: 38g

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