Lemon Crusted Fish (Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe)
This lemon crusted fish recipe is my attempt to create a savory dish using the Walkers shortbread cookies I recently received. Instead of using bread crumbs, I finely ground shortbread cookies that I blended with sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, candied kumquats, lemon zest and a few other spices.
I used mahi mahi because it's a great way to introduce fish to children, as the flesh is more subtle in flavor than any other fish. When properly cooked, mahi mahi is flaky with bright, firm flesh. To make the dish, I very briefly seared the fish, covered the fillets with the lemon crust and bakes them for a few minutes. It was as simple as that!
The shortbread crust has a buttery flavor and mild sweetness that really accentuates the fish. I set some aside and the girls were eating the crust by itself. It was such a hit that I’m thinking of recreating the dish with fried tofu instead of fish. Stay tuned.
Yields: 6 servings6 mahi mahi fillets (1-½ pounds total)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, slightly toasted
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon candied kumquats, finely chopped
1 teaspoon scotch bonnet pepper (or any other chile), finely chopped
1/3 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
3 (2 per packet) snack packs shortbread fingers
½ teaspoon paprika
4 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Ask your fishmonger to prep 6 nice rectangle fillets. Wash and pat dry using paper towels. Place the fish in a small, deep dish. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and garlic. Make sure the spices coat the fish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Plastic wrap the dish and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Zest and juice 1 lemon.
Grind the shortbread cookies into a fine powder (you could use a mini-blender, a grater or a mortar and pestle). Add the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, paprika, kumquats, fennel seeds, finely chopped chile pepper, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and parsley. It should form coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking to bring it back to room temperature. Remove the fish from the dish and pat dry the excess marinade. Season with more salt and black pepper.
Using a silicone brush, coat the fish with oil.
In a non-stick grill pan that can be used in the oven, heat some oil, add the fish and sear it. Cook for about 2 minutes. Flip the fish using a large spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Cover with the lemon crust by gently pressing it against the top of the fish using a spoon. Drizzle with a little oil. Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until golden, depending on how thick the fillets are.
Do NOT over-cook. Remove the pan from the oven and check for doneness. The fish should be opaque white and not translucent and a thermometer should register 140°F. If the fish is not cooked through, bake for 4-5 more minutes.
Drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with lemon zest and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.
I served the fish with pommes noisettes.
The secret to well-cooked mahi-mahi is to quickly pre-sear it on top of the stove. This will create a caramelized crust around the fish.
You can add capers as a garnish to repeat the Mediterranean theme in this seafood dish.
I use parsley stems as well as the leaves, because that's where the flavor is the most potent.Published By: on June 24, 2010.