So apparently mahi mahi is the “poor man’s” lobster…at least that’s what my dad says every time I order off a menu or make it at home. I think someone at a restaurant in Hawaii said that line to him 20 or 30 years ago, and since Hawaii is a haven for seafood, he took it as gospel. He may be right, but I personally don’t understand the comparison. The textures and flavors are so different. Maybe because both are white and meaty? Or is it a historical reference to a fishermen’s diet? Who knows and I’m too lazy to look it up.
But anyway, I digress. For those of you who haven’t tasted mahi mahi before, don’t worry about it being fishy. If it’s fresh, you should never have that disgustingly off-putting problem. Mahi’s flavor is mild enough to pair with sauces/spices, but it also shines on its own (which is great if you’re short of time, ideas, or ingredients). If you ever need a quick weeknight meal, it’s also the ideal fish to grill. The flesh is meaty and doesn’t fall apart when flipped. Now, I don’t know about you, but every time I grill fish at least one fillet completely breaks apart. I have clumsy flipping skills and the consequential breakage seriously gets on my nerves. If you ever need proof of a “first world problem”, ask me for my opinion on broken fish fillets…you will get an earful. But I never have to worry about that with mahi mahi since grilling it is so flippin’ easy (yay for puns!).
Since I prefer my fish with a sauce, I decided to pair it with a roasted red pepper basil sauce. Every summer I make this recipe when the ingredients are at their peak and it always amazes me how good it is. It’s fresh, summery, healthy, and very easy to whip up. Oh, and the smell is incredible. The roasted red peppers are sweet and slightly smokey. Then the raw garlic adds a natural spiciness that I can’t get enough of. However, if you don’t want a big kick, leave out a clove, no big deal. All that goodness gets blended with fresh basil straight from the garden. As I always say, fresh herbs elevate the flavor of any recipe. In this case, the basil is light, sweet, and the perfect compliment to the peppers.
I kind of wish I was having this for lunch right now! But alas, I’m at my office munching on almonds and day dreaming about grilling on the beach. Hopefully all of you are doing well. Hang in there…only a few more days until Labor Day weekend!
4 mahi mahi steaks/fillets
2 red bell peppers (roasted and seeded)
2-3 garlic cloves
8 medium sized basil leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper, to taste
Light up the grill. Turn heat to medium-high (leaning slightly more towards high).
Place the two roasted red peppers, garlic, oil, and basil in a blend. Blend until smooth. Taste. Add a pinch of salt/pepper (if needed). Pour into a small serving bowl with a spoon.
Sprinkle the mahi fillets with salt/pepper. Drizzle lightly with oil and rub so it’s coated.
Place fillets on the grill. After 4-6 minutes, flip and grill the other side for around 4 minutes more. Remove from grill. Spoon the roasted red pepper basil sauce over the grilled fish.
Serve and enjoy!