Tropical Mahi Mahi Sandwiches

Although it is sunny outside, it’s a far cry from summer. It’s still cold, the icy, slushy snow still cakes the streets and it still gets dark at 5:30  p.m.
Come on daylight savings!
The only way to really escape this sort of winter is through an awesome tropical meal…or a flight to Tahiti.
But my private jet is in the shop this week.
So…Mahi Mahi Sandwiches it is!
First you are going to make a light and tangy Asian Slaw.

Throw in half bulb of fennel, sliced thinly.

Half a head of napa cabbage.

2 grated carrots

And a few chopped scallions to the mix,  and resist the urge to throw in something spicy – we are taking care of that lata!

Now you make a dressing with 1/3 ponzu(soy sauce with a fabulously acidic, citrusy edge)

2/3 rice vinegar

And just a touch each of veggie oil (no olive oil here – we don’t want a Mediterranean or fruity touch here), and toasted sesame oil.
Some sesame seeds or sliced almonds would also make a fabulous touch.
And yes, I made this dressing right in the ponzu sauce bottle…cause I am resourceful like that.

Shake it up, dress the salad, and let it marinate.
Next, you take a nice piece of mahi mahi (although wahoo, ono or tuna would work well, too), and marinate it in equal parts sesame oil and soy sauce.

Toss that baby in a Ziploc and throw it in the fridge.
Here is the BEST part of cooking this meal!:

Blistering peppers!!!

Use poblano or Anaheim peppers here -something mild but that can be spicier if you leave the seeds in. This isn’t the preparation you want to use for a jalapeno or a Serrano pepper. If you are worried about the spice – don’t be! This is basically one step up from a bell pepper. If you are worried there isn’t enough spice -don’t be ! A little sriracha does wonders, and any pepper too spicy would drown out the flavors of the fish. 

Turn the flame up high on your burner, and just throw your peppers on there, one at a time.

Turn them over the flame with tongs so all of the sides blister and turn black.
You want this baby CHARRED.
It is seriously so fun to watch the blisters form and hear the peppers pop like popcorn.

When those are as charred and black as could be, you put them in a Ziploc bag and zip that up so that the pepper sweats in there for at least 20 minutes.

Then the skin just scrubs right off (some running water helps get off the stubborn parts)!!!
Now, you put a pan on HIGH and throw that mahi mahi in there.
Once again…a little char is not a bad thing.  That is just the sugar caramelizing.

But your kitchen might smoke a little bit…occupational hazard.
When the fish flakes in the thickest part, it is done!!!

Now, you just take a soft brioche roll, scoop out the innards (to save for making amazing meatballs) and layer on some mayonnaise (we seasoned ours with orange zest and sesame oil), some slaw,

 the pepper,

and the fish.

To. Die. For.

The fish is tender, mild, and sweet and salty with the caramelization of the marinade. The bright, vinegary slaw matches perfectly with the creamy mayonnaise and the soft roll, and scooping out the middle makes the sandwich easy to eat.  The pepper is slightly spicy and a little charred, giving that almost beefy texture and umami-filled taste to an otherwise muted sandwich. I threw some Sriracha on mine, but then…I like the pain. Some crispy onion strings might really have taken this to the next level.
If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the palm trees swaying in the breeze.

And if you open them…you are just so happy you have another half of your sandwich left.


  1. This looks fantastic – mahi mahi is probably my favorite fish. Not counting Nemo, of course.

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Justin-never had in in me to eat a little disabled fish…not saying i wouldn't in the future, though! 😉