What Is the Best Temperature to Cook Mahi Mahi?

Mahi Mahi

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You’ve got a nice piece of Mahi Mahi fish you want to cook, except you’ve never cooked Mahi Mahi before. You are probably wondering how do to cook Mahi Mahi and what is the best temperature at which to cook it?

Mahi Mahi is a firm, lean and flavorful fish that can be prepared in many different ways. However, Mahi Mahi is not a fatty fish such as salmon and will dry out quickly if you aren’t paying attention.

The firm flesh of Mahi Mahi is great for grilling as it won’t fall apart like a flakier fish, such as tilapia.

Even at some of the best restaurants in Hawaii, I’ve been served a dried-out piece of fish with a bunch of pineapple salsa on top. Delicious salsa, but cardboard underneath. We can do better than that at home, you and I.

I am going to show you a few different ways to cook Mahi Mahi, as well as the best serving temperature for Mahi Mahi.

As always, you will need an accurate thermometer to help you with this endeavor. Don’t have an accurate digital meat thermometer?

Here’s a solid and economical meat thermometer, the ThermoPro TP19H.

Knowing what is the proper temperature to serve food is the number one factor between being an okay cook and one that truly cares what they’re serving to friends and family.

When you’re done reading this article you will be equipped with the cooking skills to top even the best seafood restaurants in Hawaii!

Alright, let’s get cooking.

What Kind of Fish Is Mahi Mahi?

The name Mahi Mahi comes from the Hawaiian language meaning “Strong Strong”.  They’ve been known to swim at speeds of up to 50 knots (57mph)! For some reason, there seems to be a lot of confusion over what type of fish is Mahi Mahi. Some people have thought that Mahi Mahi is a type of shark.

Nope. Mahi Mahi is a saltwater fin-fish found in tropical and sub-tropical waters.

Also known as a dolphinfish (no relation to dolphins) and dorado, commercially caught Mahi Mahi usually range from 15 to 29 lbs.

The flesh of Mahi Mahi is very lean and firm, with the color ranging from a whitish-beige to pink. It is mostly sold in fillet form. Mahi Mahi cooks very quickly due to its leanness and firm texture.

Because of this, it is great for grilling and pan-frying, it won’t crumble into flakes like more delicate fish (think tilapia or cod).

Ok, now that we’ve learned a little bit about what Mahi Mahi is, let’s cook it.

Oven Roasted Mahi Mahi

Oven Roasted Mahi Mahi with fresh pineapple salsa

What Is the Best Way to Cook Mahi Mahi?

So, how do you cook Mahi Mahi? Well, one of the most popular ways to prepare Mahi Mahi is to pan-fry it.

Because of all the characteristics mentioned previously (firm, lean flesh),  it holds up well in a skillet.

It’s also extremely fast to cook. A large fillet can cook in 10 to 15 minutes or less.

The temperature for  Mahi Mahi when done is 137 degrees Fahrenheit/58 degrees Celsius, although I like to pull it off the heat around 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mahi Mahi has little risk of parasites so you can be a little lenient with your serving temperature. I tend to pull my fish off the heat a little before my target temperature, you will get a little carryover cooking to bring you to the proper internal temperature.

How to Cook Mahi Mahi on the Stove

Heat a skillet on your stove over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil.

Season both sides of the Mahi Mahi fillets with salt and pepper.

When the oil starts shimmering, add your Mahi Mahi fillets and turn the heat down to medium.

Cook on one side for 3 minutes then flip.

Cook for another minute or two, (cooking time will vary depending on fillet size) and then start checking the temperature, pull the fish out of the skillet when you hit 135 degrees Fahrenheit/ 57 degrees Celsius on an instant-read meat thermometer. Don’t have a meat thermometer? Get one to have on hand.

Serve it with mango or pineapple salsa.

How to Cook Mahi Mahi on the Grill

Preheat your grill on medium-high heat

Season both sides of the Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper, as well as some olive oil so it won’t stick to the grill.

Make sure your grill grates are clean and well-oiled.

After preheating your grill for ten minutes you should be ready to go.

Grill the Mahi Mahi fillets on the first side for around 3 to 4 minutes then carefully flip.

Grill for another couple of minutes and remove them from the grill when you hit 135 degrees Fahrenheit/ 57 degrees Celsius.

Serve with mango or pineapple salsa or other desired condiments.

Oven-Roasted Mahi Mahi

This recipe is super easy.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 204 degrees Celsius

Place a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil on the middle rack of the oven.

Season the Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper and olive oil on both sides.

When the oven is ready, place the Mahi Mahi fillets on the sheet and cook for about 10 minutes

Start checking the temperature at the 7-minute mark and remove them from heat when they reach 135 degrees Fahrenheit / 57 degrees Celsius on your instant-read digital meat thermometer.

Like the recipes above, serve with mango or pineapple salsa.

Another variation that works great in the oven is marinating the Mahi Mahi fillets.

Popular marinades such as teriyaki or a soy ginger combination work great in the oven.

Final Thoughts

Mahi Mahi is becoming a popular fish to cook due to its increased availability (you can get frozen fillets at Trader Joe’s). Fast and easy to cook, Mahi Mahi is a perfect meal on a busy weeknight.

The main thing you need to remember is that Mahi Mahi will cook quickly so you need to watch it closely. Even a minute of overcooking will dry it out.

But, with the tips and information in this article, along with a trusty thermometer, you will become a master at cooking this delicious fish. Happy cooking!