Dec 16, 2020

Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi with Chinese Basil 鹽酥鬼頭刀魚頭肉

Usually you'll find mahi mahi as a fillet or steak-like chunky meat in American market, but the kind I got was more like the shape of a chicken tender. There was an online seafood store promoting this special part of mahi mahi, in which you can only get two strips from one fish. It can take some efforts to find, but there are many substitutes, perhaps slice the fillet into strips yourself, or use other meaty type of fish, tuna for instance.

Pan-fried mahi mahi with Chinese basil 鹽酥鬼頭刀魚頭肉 -


  • 300 grams mahi mahi tenders
  • Some potato starch 地瓜粉
  • 6 tablespoons frying oil or olive oil
  • Small bundle Chinese basil
  • Some salt and white pepper powder mixture (optional)


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice cooking wine 米酒
  • 1 teaspoon black vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper  


Mix all the ingredients under the "marinade" section and make sure the sugar has been fully dissolved. Transfer mahi mahi over and give it a quick massage. Cover with cling oil, or simply use a Ziploc bag, into the fridge and marinate for at least six hours, overnight preferably. 

When it's about time to cook the fish, remove the mahi mahi from the fridge first. Meanwhile, pour some potato starch onto a plate or a bowl. Carefully dip each piece of fish with potato starch. Shake away excess starch. Set aside for about 5 minutes before pan-frying.

Tear the Chinese basil leaves off the stems. Make sure the leaves are dry, use a kitchen towel to further pat-dry them if needed.

Prepare a non-stick pan, drizzle some oil over and turn to medium high heat. Wait till temperature rises, gently transfer each mahi mahi over. Don't move the fish pieces too fast. Wait a little longer first then flip them over one by one. Cook till both sides get a nice slightly browned color. 

Add in most of the Chinese basil and give it a quick mix, it should take no more than 10 seconds. Scoop everything out onto a serving plate. Or you can place a kitchen towel onto a plate first and transfer pan-fried ingredients over to soak up any excess oil. 

Once ready to serve, sprinkle some salt and white pepper powder mixture all over. Also garnish with fresh Chinese basil leaves saved earlier.

Pan-fried is an easier cleaning and less oily cooking option then deep frying. Usually I would opt for deep frying, but since we are cooking smaller pieces of meat, especially seafood, pan-fry won't sacrifice much of that truly deep drying satisfaction here.

By the way, I found a powder mixture sold at a Japanese grocery store, some type of coagulant for frying oil. Once you've done frying, simply pour in the powder and the oil will coagulate into a big ball, kind of like a bread dough. You can simply throw that away in the trash can and no need to worry about what to do with all that leftover frying oil anymore. I've always trying to avoid frying because of the cleaning work afterwards, but with the help of that coagulant thing, I think I'll give it a try. I'll share my feedback here once tested it out.

Other fish recipes:

No comments:

Post a Comment