Mahi Mahi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in


By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 120 g ( oz) mahi mahi fillet, skin and bloodline removed
  • 2 g (1/16 oz) fennel seeds
  • 50 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50 g ( oz) Murray River salt flakes
  • 1 g (1/32 oz) finely grated lemon zest
  • food-grade sawdust*, for smoking


The fish should be purchased, prepared and served on the same day. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).

Toast the fennel seeds for 4 minutes, then cool and, using a mortar and pestle, gently pound just enough to bruise them but not turn them into a powder. Combine with the sugar, salt and lemon zest and mix well.

Lay a 30 cm (12 inch) length of plastic wrap on a work surface. Sprinkle one-third of the fennel mixture in the centre of the wrap, covering an area the same size as your piece of fish. Place the fish on top and sprinkle over the remaining fennel mixture, making sure the top and sides are evenly covered. Tightly wrap the fish and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and unwrap. Discard the excess fennel mixture and rinse the fish in a bowl of iced water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 35 minutes or until the flesh begins to feel tacky.

Light a cold smoker* using the sawdust and smoke the fish at 2°C (36°F) for 1 hour to lightly perfume the flesh. Wrap the fish in plastic wrap again and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Twenty minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the fish from the refrigerator so it isn’t fridge cold. When ready to plate, using a sashimi knife, cut the fish against the grain into 12 slices.