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Coconut-Smoked Mahi-Mahi

Monday, 26 May 2008


Smoking with coconut gives the fish a sweet flavor with tropical overtones. Serve with Curried Pineapple Serrano Salsa.


At a glance
Heat Level
Habanero, Coconut, Mahi-Mahi, Pineapple, Serrano, Brown Sugar, Curry Powder, Ginger


Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian term for the fish also called dorado in Spanish and dolphin in English. This recipe also works well with "fishier" fish such as kingfish, bluefish, and mackerel. Yes, you can substitute steaks for the fillets, but be sure to adjust the cooking time. Smoking with coconut gives the fish a sweet flavor with tropical overtones. This recipe is designed for a water smoker or a charcoal grill with indirect heat, a water-filled pan beneath the fish and the coconut placed on the coals. Use a fish grill basket with handles for easy turning. Serve with lemon cashew rice, spring asparagus spears, and Key lime pie.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 teaspoons ground habanero chile

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1 fresh coconut, broken in pieces, reserving the milk

  • 4 mahi-mahi fillets, or substitute snapper or grouper

Curried Pineapple Serrano Salsa

  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut in 1/4-inch slices

  • 3 serrano chiles, stems removed, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

In a bowl, combine the oil, rice wine, lime juice, chile, and ginger to make a marinade. Place the fish in a non-reactive dish, pour the marinade over the top and marinate, covered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Prepare a fire in a water smoker or a charcoal grill and when hot, place the coconut pieces on the coals. Pour the reserved coconut milk in the pan along with the water. Smoke the fish for 1 to 2 hours or until the fish flakes, keeping a very low heat. You may quickly baste a couple of times with the marinade, if desired, to keep the fish from drying out.

To make the salsa, grill the pineapple slices or heat in a pan for 5 to 10 minutes until the pineapple is browned. Dice the pineapple. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa, except for the cilantro, and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour to blend the flavors. Toss

with the cilantro.

Place the fish on individual pates, top with a little salsa, and serve the remaining salsa on the side.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Medium


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