Blackened Mahi Mahi with Summer Lettuce

In this Cajun cooking technique fish is dipped in melted butter and coated with spices, then placed in a searing hot pan to create the blackening effect. The heat browns and then chars the milk solids, which gives the fish its signature blackened appearance.
Blackened Mahi Mahi with Summer Lettuce


  • 2 pieces mahi mahi
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 head of gem or bibb lettuce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper
Blackening Spice:
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Thaw 2 pieces of mahi mahi in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from packaging, place on a paper towel-lined plate or tray on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. Allow about 12 hours, and once thawed, give a good pat-down with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture before cooking.
  2. Combine all of the blackening spices in a bowl and mix well. Melt the butter, remove from heat and allow the butter to come to room temperature - part of the melted butter will be used to coat the fish and the rest will be for cooking.
  3. Pat the mahi mahi fillets dry. Coat the fish with melted butter and roll in the blackening spices, making sure the fish is fully coated.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottomed cast iron pan over high flame and allow the pan to get very hot. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter into the hot pan and immediately add the seasoned mahi mahi. Cook for 3 minutes over high heat until a crispy layer has formed on the fish. Flip once and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the other side and then remove from the heat.
  5. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Whisk together to form the salad dressing, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pull apart the lettuce, keeping the leaves whole. Dress the lettuce leaves in a bowl and plate alongside the blackened mahi mahi.