A delicious seafood dinner that is ready in 20 minutes, this Brown Butter Mahi Mahi Piccata is so simple and easy but elevated! The citrus and brininess with the complex flavor of brown butter is delicious and pairs well with the mild flavor of mahi mahi.
Mild, meaty mahi mahi is the perfect fish for this lemon, caper, brown butter sauce that will make you want to lick your plate clean! Plus, it all comes together in one pan and very quickly with minimal ingredients. Pair it with a big salad and my Perfect Roasted Potatoes or a grain like orzo for a complete, wholesome meal!
what is mahi mahi and where should you buy it?
Mahi Mahi has a sweet, mild flavor. It is very similar to swordfish, although it is not very steak like, instead it has large moist flakes. It is a firm-fleshed fish that holds up well to marinating and grilling! That’s why I love to use it so much- it is so versatile and can work in many different recipes.
I find it perfect for a dish like this Brown Butter Mahi Mahi Piccata where you really want the flavor of the sauce to shine. Other fish varieties might be too strong in flavor and end up competing with the sauce.
Unless you live on the coast or know that you are getting fresh fish, I suggest purchasing frozen mahi mahi and thawing it before cooking if you have the time! “Fresh” fish at the seafood counter is typically previously frozen, so by purchasing frozen fish you are avoiding a thaw/freeze cycle and it will be a bit fresher.
how to cook mahi mahi
Cooking the mahi mahi is super simple and quick! First, pat the mahi fillets dry with a paper towel. You want them to be dry so that they get slightly browned while cooking and will end up more flavorful!
After the mahi mahi has been pat dry, season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes and then add a thin layer of oil to the pan. Allow it to heat for another 30 seconds and then sear the mahi fillets for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
They will continue cooking all the way through in the sauce, but you want them to have a nice sear on them!
Once the mahi fillets have been seared, remove them from the skillet and then we will start to make the brown butter piccata sauce!
steps for making the brown butter
The technique of using brown butter, or beurre noisette, originated in France (of course!) and is a golden, brown color and nutty flavor. It is often used in savory foods like vegetables, but is common in pastries, too!
Brown butter is really simple to make and will elevate your dish. It’s perfect in this piccata recipe because the nutty flavor of the brown butter really complements the brininess of the piccata.
To make the brown butter, simply cube 1 stick of butter and add it to the skillet. Simmer on medium to medium-low, stirring frequently, until the butter is brown and you can smell the nutty deliciousness!
how to make mahi mahi piccata sauce
Once the brown butter has been made, it’s time to finish the rest of the sauce for the mahi mahi piccata. To the skillet, add the capers, lemon juice and broth. Add the fish back to the pan and spoon the sauce over the filletts, allowing it to simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
The fish is done when it flakes apart easily!
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Looking for a side dish for this Mahi Mahi Piccata? These Perfect Roasted Potatoes go wonderfully with it!
Brown Butter Mahi Mahi Piccata
- 2 lbs mahi mahi
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 large lemon
- salt & pepper
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat a thin layer of oil on medium heat.
- Pat the mahi filets dry with a paper towel, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sear in the skillet for about 3 mins per side. Set aside on a plate.
- To the skillet, add the butter. Continue to heat and stir the butter until it has browned, about 8 mins.
- Add the capers, lemon juice and broth to the skillet, stirring. Return the fish to the skillet and spoon the sauce over.
- Turn the heat to low and allow the fish to cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes, until it flakes apart easily & is finished cooking.