Mahi Mahi Emergency!!!

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Joined Apr 24, 2017
I am on a very strict diet for migraine relief and am limited on what I can eat (no citrus, or tropical fruits) no nuts and no msg. I normally don't eat fish but I have to try to broaden my horizons so that I have options.  I want to grill two 4oz portions of Mahi Mahi for supper but do not have a clue how to season them. Here are a list of the spices I have at my disposal-all helpful suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

ground white pepper

ground black pepper

dill seed

ground cumin

curry powder

tumeric

cilantro leaves

parsley flakes

kosher salt

garlic powder

minced garlic

thyme leaves

basil leaves

marjoram leaves

paprika

celery salt

rosemary leaves

ginger powder

Also any combinations for snapper and tilapia would be great too.
 
5,716
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
I would leave the spices alone. Salt and pepper is all you need. It sucks that you can't get citrus because lemon juice goes so well with fish and seafood in general. But maybe you could try a bit of soy sauce? Some fresh ginger? Or a bit of minced garlic? Some melted butter? You could perhaps finish with some capers, and a few croutons in butter (I'm thinking truite Grenobloise without the lemon). 

Edit: I just noticed the ginger powder. If you really can't get any fresh ginger (it goes much better with fish IMO), then you could try a super-light dusting of ginger powder. I would use no more ginger powder than you use salt. Probably a bit less ginger powder than salt.

Or you could go a bit more exotic and try a combination of ground white pepper, turmeric, the tiniest amount of cumin (1/8th of a teaspoon for both filets), maybe some cilantro (not sure what that tastes like dry, we are lucky to get it fresh year round here), and a dash of ginger powder - or fresh if you can get it.
 
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7,676
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
If you really have nothing else in your pantry then a very light dusting of curry powder will give a nice flavor as long as it's not too much.

Or you could also give the fish a light dusting of seasoned flour and fry it. Fish really needs only salt and pepper to taste good and maybe a little butter. A squeeze of lemon will make it sparkle.
 
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IMO it is an old wives tale that fish can't stand up to strong flavors.  I'm from boring new england where people only know how to use salt pepper and butter.

Put anything you want on your fish.  Look at some asian cultures that value supremely fresh fish (many fish markets sell fish from the tank, kill and fillet at order time), they are not afraid of strong flavors.  Especially on a firm fish like swordfish or mahi.

Just don't use too many conflicting spices.

- sear it hard, finish with miso butter

- corn starch dredge, deep fry,  chilis, garlic, soy, ginger, honey

- fish sauce and scallions
 

pete

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All the ideas that have been presented sound good, but I also would consider a very tried and true combination-melt some butter and add the dill and freshly minced garlic.  Season your fish liberally with salt and pepper, brush with the flavored butter and grill.  Continue to brush the fish with the butter as it grills and then serve with a drizzle of the butter over top.  It may seem rather pedestrian, but you can't go wrong with that combination.
 
7,676
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
IMO it is an old wives tale that fish can't stand up to strong flavors.  I'm from boring new england where people only know how to use salt pepper and butter.

Put anything you want on your fish.  Look at some asian cultures that value supremely fresh fish (many fish markets sell fish from the tank, kill and fillet at order time), they are not afraid of strong flavors.  Especially on a firm fish like swordfish or mahi.

Just don't use too many conflicting spices.

- sear it hard, finish with miso butter
- corn starch dredge, deep fry,  chilis, garlic, soy, ginger, honey
- fish sauce and scallions

It has nothing to do with old wives tales. It has to do with palette. Of course fish can hold up to strong flavors but only if you LIKE strong flavors. I have a Mediterranean palette. We are taught that flavors should be clean and minimal and allow the fish (or whatever ingredient you are showcasing) to stand unobscured. My palette cannot withstand some of the strong seasonings used in other cultures. In order to appreciate a spicy curry one has to build up to it. But if I eat a spicy curry I taste pain and then I taste nothing at all for the next 24 hrs. Anything that goes in my mouth after that does not register at all. So it's not an old wives tale, it's a matter of having acquired the palette for it.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
 
How will his combination work on snapper?
If you're talking about my white pepper/turmeric/cumin/cilantro/ginger combination then yes, definitely works with snapper. 

You could even consider marinating the fish with all those spices in coconut cream or coconut milk. A bit of fresh garlic would help. 

Do you know if you can have the zest from citrus? Lime zest would be great with this. If you can't, no big deal. 

Anything fresh you can get would elevate this dish further: Fresh ginger, fresh lemongrass, fresh basil, fresh cilantro, fresh chilies....
 
6
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Joined Apr 24, 2017
 
All the ideas that have been presented sound good, but I also would consider a very tried and true combination-melt some butter and add the dill and freshly minced garlic.  Season your fish liberally with salt and pepper, brush with the flavored butter and grill.  Continue to brush the fish with the butter as it grills and then serve with a drizzle of the butter over top.  It may seem rather pedestrian, but you can't go wrong with that combination.
How will this work on snapper and tilapia?
 
6
10
Joined Apr 24, 2017
 
If you're talking about my white pepper/turmeric/cumin/cilantro/ginger combination then yes, definitely works with snapper. 

You could even consider marinating the fish with all those spices in coconut cream or coconut milk. A bit of fresh garlic would help. 

Do you know if you can have the zest from citrus? Lime zest would be great with this. If you can't, no big deal. 

Anything fresh you can get would elevate this dish further: Fresh ginger, fresh lemongrass, fresh basil, fresh cilantro, fresh chilies....
I am going to try to pick up some fresh spices at a grocery store the next time I go to a bigger town.
 

pete

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I'm not Pete, but I'm sure his combo would work great with snapper and tilapia!! I say go for it. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
Like FF said, this will work for both snapper and tilapia-pretty much most fish except fresh tuna and maybe a few others, but pretty much most fish.
 

pete

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I dont mind dill with canned tuna but I am not a fan of dill with fresh tuna. I just dont think dill compliments fresh tuna as well as other flavors.
 
7,676
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
I dont mind dill with canned tuna but I am not a fan of dill with fresh tuna. I just dont think dill compliments fresh tuna as well as other flavors.
Yea but the method will work.  I really like oregano, or thyme, or even rosemary with tuna.  Oregano is my favorite. It works.
 
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