Mahi-Mahi Kona

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Mahi-Mahi Kona

Although the fish we call mahi-mahi is common in the Gulf, its local name “dolphinfish” has faded in favor of the Hawaiian moniker. Mahi-mahi is one of the prized fish in the islands, even though it’s much more expensive there than here. Dishes like this were very popular around New Orleans in the 1940s and 1950s, but have faded. This one is updated for current tastes.

Grilled mahi-mahi.

  • Salsa:
  • 1 cup finely-diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs. Tabasco jalapeno pepper sauce
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbs. lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 4 drops Tabasco
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 3 oz. macadamia nuts
  • 4 mahi-mahi fillets, 8-10 oz. each
  • Creole fish seasoning

1. Combine the salsa ingredients the day before (or at least 4 hours ahead) and refrigerate.

2. Heat the broiler. Place the macadamia nuts on a sheet pan or pizza pan about four inches from the heat. Watch the nuts carefully. At the first sign of browning, shake the pan to turn the nuts over. When they begin to brown again, remove and lot cool. When cool, chop the nuts coarsely in a food processor.

3. Blend the marinade ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl. Place the fish fillets into the marinade for a minute per side.

4. Remove the fish from the marinade and shake off the excess. Season with Creole seasoning on both sides. Roll the fish fillets in the chopped macadamia nuts, pressing down to make the nuts stick to the fish as much as possible. (Lots will fall off, but don’t worry about it.)

5. Place the fish on a pan and put it under the broiler, about five inches from the heat, and broil until the crust browns well. Turn the fish (carefully, to keep the nuts in place) and brown the other side.

Serve with the pineapple salsa on the side.

Serves four.

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