Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa and Paella

Recipe Courtesy of Tony Scruggs

My wife and I had a mahi mahi dish in the Florida Keys a number of years ago, so I make that dish a lot in the winter to remind us of more tropical locations when we have snow on the ground. I tweaked it to my style with the addition of the chili-lime seasoning. I cook mostly for my wife as the kids are all grown up and on their own.

The day I prepared that dish for the judges, I was so worried because I could not find a really ripe mango. I had to use one that was still a little firm, which means it would not be as sweet, But as Graham said, "I would have given him a yes on the fish alone!"


  • 4 pieces of mahi mahi, 6-ounces each
  • 3 tablespoons fruit seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay
  • olive oil

For The Mango Salsa

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper

For The Paella

  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon ground shrimp
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


To Make The Salsa

  1. Mix mango, tomato, red pepper, jalapeno, red onion, lime zest and juice, chopped cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Make The Paella

  1. Steep saffron in water.

  2. Saute onion, red pepper and garlic in olive oil on medium heat about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add rice, stir until coated with oil. Add saffron water, peas, ground shrimp and cook covered 10-12 minutes. Fluff and re-cover.

To Make The Mahi Mahi

  1. Liberally season fish with fruit seasoning and Old Bay.

  2. Sear at medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 minutes per side.

  3. Plate rice, then top with fish and salsa.

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Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa and Paella