Sautéed Mahi with Caramelized Onions

Use this recipe with caution. It may prompt marriage proposals, launch a culinary career, or at the least, commit you to making all meals for the near future. It’s actually quite a simple recipe (read, YOU can do this). It’s based on a vintage offering from a (nameless) seafood restaurant here on Maui, but due to this current pandemic situation, I’ve switched up to ingredients we had on hand. This is the ‘pantry edition’.

sautéed mahi recipe from mama's fish house


  • 4-6 Mahi fillets
  • macadamia nuts
  • 1/2- 1 onion
  • flour
  • cornstarch
  • teriyaki sauce
  • oil for sautéing
chopped Mac nuts

Step 1: Chop the Mac nuts. These are going to go on to the finished dish and aren’t used as the breading, so don’t need to be very fine. For extra points, lightly toast on the pan, then set aside.

Step 2: Caramelize the onions. Cook the low and slow until translucent, then starting to brown. This step may take 15 or so minutes, but don’t rush it. This is a great time for a break, courtesy of your favorite local brewer or vintner. Set aside.

Step 3: Coat the mahi in a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and whatever flour you happen to have in your pantry. The original recipe actually called for toasted coconut flakes to be added to the final dish, so in lieu of that, I’m using corn starch and coconut flour. Whatever you need to lightly coat your fish, around 1/4 c. of each should get you started. Sauté the mahi in vegetable oil, I prefer to use olive oil for fish. This fish doesn’t need to be cooked very long, depending on the thickness, maybe 2-3 minutes on each side. The fish will start to turn white as it’s cooked, so I flip it when it’s white almost half way up the fish, and it’s getting browned on the bottom. Set aside when cooked.

Step 4: Make the sauce – Add about a cup of teriyaki sauce (or make your own using soy sauce, ginger and sugar!) to the pan, then stir in the caramelized onions. Get it nice and hot and starting to thicken a bit, then plate up the mahi and add this to the top of the mahi, then add a spoonful or three of the Macs nuts.

Step 5: Enjoy! Personally I like to accompany these with mashed purple sweet potatoes, made with coconut milk, but as this is the pantry edition, we roasted our neighbors eggplant and some small potatoes to go along side.

Let us know if you try this recipe and if you have any great suggestions for sides or alternate versions!

Published by Maui Fish Delivery

Introducing Maui Fish Delivery: Fish with a Purpose. Bringing Fresh Fish to the Residents of Maui.

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