Blackened Mahi Mahi with Cilantro Pesto

When I was ten years old, I got hooked to Food Network television. I loved watching shows like “Iron Chef America” and Rachel Ray’s “30 Minute Meals”. One of my favorite Food Network chefs was, and still is, Bobby Flay. I loved watching him cook and barbeque so many varieties of foods. So, of course it’s no surprise that I’ve tried my fair share of Bobby Flay recipes.

I made his Spicy Mahi Mahi with Cilantro Pesto a few weeks back. I loved the spice rub that was used on the mahi mahi fish. Mahi mahi has a firm texture once cooked, and it’s extremely mild. If you know me, and my extreme sensitivities to strong “fishy” flavors, then you’ll know that a mild fish is a good fish in my book. With the mild fish flavor, the strong flavors of the spice rub (paprika, cumin, chile powder) shined through. I call this “blackened” because I pan-fried it, so the spices caramelized and turned into this beautiful, rich brown color.

Confession- I didn’t follow the cilantro pesto recipe completely, so I can’t give a good review on it. However, the version I tried was very, very vibrant and fresh with cilantro flavor. If I could make any changes to it, I might have added some peppers to make it just a tad bit spicier.

Next time I use this spice rub, I might just pair the fish with a pineapple salsa or maybe even my mango salsa if there’s mango in season.

So, without further ado, I present to you, my take on blackened mahi mahi!

Blackened Mahi Mahi

Yield: 2-4 servings

Blackened Mahi Mahi


  • 4 mahi mahi fillets
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Oil for cooking/grilling


  1. Mix together the spices and the sugar.
  2. Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel. Cover each fillet in the spice rub mixture.
  3. Brush a grilling surface or a pan with some oil. Cook each fillet, spiced side down until nicely browned/blackened (2-3 minutes).
  4. Sprinkle opposite side with more spice mix. Turn fillets over, cooking them until firm (3-4 minutes).
  5. Serve with rice, veggies, and sauce (like the cilantro pesto linked above).

This entry was posted in entree.

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