Grilled Mahi Mahi with Citrus-Tequila marinade

Learn to love grilling fish again with this easy mahi-mahi recipe.

First a little background, Mahi Mahi are also called dolphinfish or dorado and are native to warmer tropical waters.

And to clear up any possible confusion, these are not related to the marine mammal also called dolphin, just in case anyone told you they were.

learn how to grill mahi mahi fish

Typically a recipe for Mahi Mahi includes a very strong Citrus based marinade, it just happens ours includes Tequila too!

Mahi Mahi is a very mild-flavored fish and quite dense in texture, it can easily take a much longer marinating time then other softer fish so the marinade recipe is much stronger.

See how easy it is to cook Mahi Mahi with our step-by-step recipe and use the same tips and tricks below when you're grilling other fish too.

grilled mahi-mahi

I recommend you grill this fish on high, and only 3 to 4 minutes per side.

You'll see below a pretty neat trick to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill and breaking apart when you're flipping the pieces over.

› Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Serves: 2 - 4

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Direct Heat: 600F

Note: for best results marinate this mahi mahi recipe at least 2 - 4 hours

What you'll need: 

  • 4 Mahi Mahi fillets (6-8 oz ea, 3/4 to 1" thick)
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 2 green onions chopped (for topping fish after cooking)
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil (for oiling the grates of the grill)

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1" peeled, chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly crushed peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

citrus tequila marinade

Step 1:
Chop the cilantro, ginger and garlic and grate 2 tablespoons of fresh orange zest.

mahi mahi marinade

In a glass bowl combine the cilantro, ginger, garlic, orange zest with the lime juice, tequila, oil, salt and pepper.

Mix well to combine.

marinating mahi mahi

Step 2:
Place the mahi mahi fillets in a shallow glass dish just large enough to hold the 4 pieces.

Pour the marinade over the fish and turn the fillets over several times to fully cover all sides.

Scoop up any extra bits of the orange zest, garlic, ginger and cilantro and place on the top of each fillet.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. This fish is best with a slightly longer marinating time.

how to superheat grill

Step 3:
Clean the grates of the BBQ or grill well and begin to preheat to 600F.

Tip: Place an empty aluminum pan upside down on the section of the grates that you'll be cooking on.

Make sure the pan is large enough to cover the same area the fish will be on.

This trick will super-heat the grills grates in this area and sears the fish when you put it on. This helps prevent the pieces from sticking.

Close the lid.

oil your grates

Step 4:
When the grill's reached 600F, lift the lid and carefully remove the aluminum pan.

Hold a wad of paper towel with long handled tongs and dip the paper towel in canola oil (or vegetable oil).

Rub the oiled paper towel over the grates just where you'll be cooking.

Tip: Repeat this 4 times. By doing this 4 times the oil remains on the grate and doesn't burn off as quickly.

flame grilled mahi fish

Step 5:
Remove the mahi mahi from the marinade and gently shake off any excess marinade.

Place the fillets on the grill in the oiled section and close the lid.

how to flip fish

After 3 minutes lift the lid and gently slip a long handled fork under a piece and very carefully begin to lift (or pry) it up from the grates in several places.

When the grates release it lift it a little higher and check for grill marks on the flesh.

While holding the fish with the fork slide a wide spatula under it and lower it down onto the spatula.

Carefully flip the fish over on the grate, just like flipping the pages in a book, and close the lid.

Squirt the juice of 1/2 a lemon on top of each one after flipping.

Step 6:
After another 3 - 4 minutes the fish should be cooked.  

It should look opaque (not transparent) and still be slightly moist (not dried out).

Squirt the juice of 1/2 a lemon on the plate you'll be putting the fish fillets on after they're cooked.

Carefully lift the fish up from the grates slightly and slip the spatula underneath.

easy recipe for mahi mahi

Place them on the lemon juice covered plate.

Top with the chopped green onions and serve.


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