Pan-Roasted Mahi Mahi with Garlic and Vinegar

La Buridda dei Pescatori Friulani

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

I had a version of this dish at a restaurant in the picturesque town of Grado, which juts into the Adriatic just west of Trieste in Friuli. Our host explained how fishermen prepared imperfect or damaged (but very fresh) fish that could not be sold. The acidity of the red wine vinegar is just barely noticeable, but its fragrance comes through, making this a fine dish. Bluefish and mackerel are excellent alternatives to mahi mahi.

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds skinless mahi mahi fillet
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Peel and lightly crush the garlic cloves and put them in a 12-inch skillet with the olive oil. Place over medium-high heat and lightly brown the cloves on all sides, then remove and discard them.
  2. While the garlic is browning, dust both sides of the fish with the flour and shake off the excess. After removing the garlic cloves, put the fish in the pan and season with salt and pepper. When the fillet is browned, turn it, season with salt and pepper, and brown the other side. It should take 2 to 3 minutes to brown each side.
  3. Add the vinegar and let it bubble away for about 30 seconds to allow most of the acidity to evaporate. Add ¼ cup water, lower the heat to medium, and cover the pan. Cook until the fish flakes easily, about 10 minutes.
  4. When the fish is done, the liquid in the pan should have mostly evaporated. If not, transfer the fish to a warm platter, raise the heat under the pan, and cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat, return the fish, and coat it with the sauce. Serve at once.