Jun 7, 2021

Spicy Mahi Mahi with Asian Seasonings 麻辣鬼頭刀魚塊

I've always enjoyed a nice piece of mahi mahi fillet back in the states. Mahi mahi's somewhat firm and lean texture makes it a great candidate for heavy seasonings, which I adore. Here in Taiwan, mahi mahi are usually sold in smaller chunks instead of a big fillet, but still hearty and boneless. 

So this time, instead of simply searing the fish or my favorite may, blackened mahi mahi, I'm going to use smaller chunky pieces of mahi mahi and turn that into a well-flavored Asian dish, with a kick from the chilies too.

Spicy mahi mahi with Asian seasonings 麻辣鬼頭刀魚塊 -


  • 300 grams mahi mahi 
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 teaspoon aged Chinese Shaoxing wine
  • Some olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • Some corn starch

Simple marinade -

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 egg white
  • Some white pepper powder 

Sauce - 

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar


Cut the mahi mahi into large bite size chunks. Massage the fish pieces with all the simple marinade ingredients, including 1/8 teaspoon of salt, some egg white, and a tiny pinch of white pepper powder. Set aside and marinate while preparing other ingredients.

Mix together all the ingredients under the sauce section. Stir and set aside for later use.


Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the ginger. Destem the fresh red chili and slice it diagonally. Destem and section the scallion, but do save some green parts for a fine chop. The chopped scallion will use as a garnish sprinkle on top in the end. 

Prepare a small bowl fill with some corn starch. The fish should be marinated for about 10 minutes by now. Dip the fish chunks and make sure to evenly coat all sides with corn starch. Separate the fish pieces and set aside for later use.

Use a non-stick pan, drizzle some oil to coat the bottom, but do a bit more than usual amount. I used 3 tablespoons here. Turn to medium high heat. Once the oil warms up, add in corn starch coated fish chunks one by one. Sear till both sides turn slightly golden color, scoop out and set aside first.

Continue to use the same pan, also use a kitchen towel to wipe out excess oil if needed. Only leave enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.

Turn to medium high heat. Add in ginger slices and scallion sections. Sear for about 30 seconds.

Add in dried red chilies, fresh chilies, and garlic. Mix and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in some aged Chinese Shaoxing wine, let the heat to further release its aroma. Cook for another 30 seconds.

Mix the sauce again before pouring to the pan. Also transfer seared fish back to the pan. Give it a few tosses to help the sauce cling on the fish. 

Cook till slightly thickens, plate, and garnish with some chopped scallion on top.

The actual cooking process is pretty quick. Most of the steps only require about 30 seconds, which can be even faster if you can maneuver your way in the kitchen quick enough under very high heat. You'll either get that great wok hei or burnt mess in the end, want to test out your skills?

That's why I usually only put "medium high" heat for my blog recipes. It takes quick hands and experience to fully control such high fire power in the kitchen. So the safest way, and without much sacrifice on the taste, is by toning down to medium high heat instead.  

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