Staycation? Taste the Islands right in your kitchen. This recipe for Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi is so good and easy to prepare - and good for you too.
The Story behind Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
It was anniversary week at the house, 24 years of wedded bliss. We did the annual* watching of our wedding video...
"Wow, look how black my hair is" comments the now fully grey BB.
"Wow, we look so young" comments the still young Lindy.
Cheers from Lanai circa 1991
We honeymooned on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Back then there were two hotels on the island, the Four Season Lanai at Manele Bay; or the Lodge at Lanai City, a small hotel built in the 1920s. BB worked for Dollar Rent a Car back in those days and did a lot of business on the islands. Through his contacts there he met and was befriended by Ed Hogan of Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays who, as you might imagine, was quite connected in the world of travel and hotels. The Four Seasons Manele Bay was having its grand opening the day after our wedding, and he could get us into a beautiful suite overlooking the bay. And so he did. Need I say it was a beautiful hotel?
Of course, sometimes a perk comes with a price, in this case, the first night of our honeymoon was spent having a wonderfully delicious romantic dinner with Mr. Hogan and his wife, Lynn, along with the Dollar licensee Rob Solomon and his wife, Flora, and the newly married BB and me. OK...what's wrong with doing a little business along with a little romance? And we did get the rest of the week to ourselves. So stop complaining haha.
While there we enjoyed some really great 4-star meals. But after eating rich food for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner we needed a break. And since there were only two places on the island, we took our break at the Lodge where we enjoyed a lovely dinner of some of the freshest sashimi and a delicious fresh Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi - which of course they mucked up with a sticky sweet sauce - which of course, we scraped off.
The Macadamia nut oil in the refrigerator caught my husband's eye. It reminded him of the dinner we had and he asked if I could "recreate" it. Of course I can. Although I will just omit the sauce from the beginning. And so I did.
I DO think this would be delicious with grilled pineapple salsa or even the fresh peach and nectarine salsa I use for my Grilled Fish Tacos. Next time. There will always be a next time.
Macadamia nuts, while one of the most caloric-rich nuts, is also a very healthy nut. Macadamias are a rich source of Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folates. They also contain some zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Macadamia contains antioxidants like polyphenols, Amino acids, flavones, and selenium. They are a good source of carbohydrates like sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and some starch-based carbohydrates. Their mild, buttery flavor is perfect for crusting the sweet mahi-mahi, although with the cost of Macadamias being what it is $$, I supplemented them with some panko which also added a delicious crunch. Macadamia nuts are grown in many parts of the world, Australia is one of the largest producers, but Hawaiian Macadamia nuts are treasured as being the "best" in both taste and texture.
LindySez: Oils turn rancid so quickly, especially the nut oils so I always keep my nut oils, or any oil I don't use often, in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.
Wine Pairing: The sweetness of the nuts, combined with the mild fish made this dish a perfect pair with a California Chardonnay that went through malolactic fermentation and light oak treatment. We enjoyed a 2013 North Coast Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay, which showed flavors of apple, pineapple, nectarine, and baking spice. It would also pair nicely with a Viognier due to that wines typical tropical fruit elements.
*That's not entirely true. The first five years we watched it every year, and now it's more like we watch it once every five years...or so.
Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
- 4 4 - 6 ounce Mahi Mahi or halibut filets, skin removed
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup macadamia nuts toasted and chopped fairly fine by hand or in a food processor
- ¼ cup panko
- 2 tablespoons macadamia nut oil or olive oil, or olive oil and butter mix
- Season the fish with salt and pepper; then spread the mayo on one side of the fish.
- Mix together the panko and chopped macadamia nuts. Dredge the coated side of the fish in the nut/panko mixture.
- In a skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the fish, crusted side down; cook until browned, turn and cook the other side. About 3 - 4 minutes each side depending on how thick the fish is. The fish should just be opaque and separate easily.