Learn how to make this easy and delicious Mahi Mahi deconstructed blackened fish taco recipe that is gluten free, keto friendly, whole30 compliant and a great easy weeknight dinner or meal prep idea!
I find Mexican inspired cuisine to be one of my favorite flavor profiles to mess around with in the kitchen. Why? Because of how versatile and easily modifiable it can be to fit a variety of diets and lifestyles.
While I have several Mexican or Tex-Mex style recipes on my website, I wanted to recreate a favorite dish I had often living in Miami (though it’s really more of a California staple).
This deconstructed keto fish taco recipe was also inspired by my deconstructed salmon taco bowls that you can check out instead if you prefer a different fish.
Pair this delicious healthy fish recipe with my Easy Brussel Sprout Fish Taco Slaw as the cabbage base for the taco bowls to keep things easy for meal prep. You can always sub for my keto Cajun coleslaw recipe as well or simply use shredded cabbage and toppings of your choice.
While this recipe is fairly uncomplicated, I will walk you through making your own Cajun Seasoning mix and a variety of cooking or grilling options you have for preparing your mahi mahi.
Grab the the full recipe details and nutritional information below and let’s dive in to making you new favorite taco bowl recipe.
- Knife & Cutting Board
- 2 Small Bowls
- Cast Iron Skillet / Griddle Pan
- Spatula or Tongs
- Measuring Spoons
- Instant Read Thermometer
Below I will break down the ingredients needed, cooking methods, serving options and the best ways to cook and prepare if you plan on making ahead or using for meal prep. Let’s begin!
What are blackened mahi mahi tacos?
Traditional Mahi tacos can be found on the west cost and are definitely a California staple. You can find this recipe influencing other coastal regions (like South Florida) as well.
Mahi mahi is a great fish for making into tacos because it’s a firmer fish and cooks up nicely in a variety of ways (in a skillet, roasted, cooked on the grill or even smoked) and has a moderately light flavor as well.
Adding the blacked seasoning is a great way to add an intense amount of flavor and pull in other cuisine inspiration into this refreshing taco dish. I’ll share more in a bit specifically about the Cajun seasoning blend, so stay tuned.
How do I make it into a bowl?
While traditionally these tacos are served with a cabbage mixture in a corn or maybe even a flour tortilla, I have opted to make mine into a taco bowl (or Buddha bowl if you will). Instead of using regular cabbage mix for this recipe I actually paired it with this Easy Brussel Sprout Fish Taco Slaw that works really well at adding more vegetables and layers of flavor to the dish.
While I often keep it simple with just the slaw, fish, and maybe a tangy sauce to go over the top. You can also add regular rice or for my low carb friends, try cauliflower rice as well. Honestly, anything goes when you build a taco style bowl because you can easily add or modify any mix in’s or toppings that you prefer.
How to make blackened Cajun seasoning?
To evenly coat your mahi in blackened seasoning you need the perfect Cajun spice blend. Follow the directions to mix up my popular Cajun BBQ dry rub recipe that’s made up of pantry staple spices like:
- Smoked Paprika
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic and Onion Powder
- Thyme and Parsley
- Red Pepper Flakes (or Cayenne Pepper)
- Celery Salt
Combine, mix into a finer blend in a spice grinder and use it to nicely coat all sides of your fish in a solid, even layer.
What methods can I use to cook my blackened mahi mahi?
Here is a general break down of my favorite methods (in order) for searing and cooking the mahi mahi:
Cast Iron Searing/ Griddle Cooking:
This method is the best method for really getting that all over sear texture to fish and encourages the seasoning to do get that darker, black char coating onto it. A cast iron or griddle plate (pictured) should be preheated to medium high and you should add a mild, high smoke point oil to the surface.
Place the fish onto the flat surface and press down and allow each side to sear for about 4-6 minutes until it reaches and internal temperature of 145 F. It should be opaque now in color and would also flake easily if you were to pull at it with a fork.
If you plan on grilling directly and you don’t have a cast iron skillet to place over the heat, use a 350 – 400 F. preheated grill to cook. Make sure to clean the grates before adding the fish and oiling them as well so the fish doesn’t stick and tear.
Higher smoke point oils with a mild flavor are canola oil, vegetable oil, or my favorite avocado oil. Pour some onto a paper towel and use tongs to rub that over the grates quickly before cooking your fish.
This is an indirect heat method that will take a little longer but add a lot more smoke flavor to your fish and to your blackened dry rub. I like my smoker to be no more than 250 F. and to use very mild woods (apple is my go-to with fish but other fruit woods are great).
Cook roughly for about 30 minutes on indirect heat until your fish is cooked fully.
This is basically the same method as smoking, but with your oven! This is the last recommended method but definitely the easiest and most hands off.
Bake your fish on a lower temperature (also 250 F.). Slow temperatures for fish actually are a great way to cook it properly without drying it out. You can read more here in my slow roasted salmon recipe too.
Meal prep tips and suggestions:
- You can make your slaw ahead of time (dressing included) and just prep that and cook your fish the day of so it’s at it’s freshest.
- If you prep both the slaw and the fish ahead of time, keep them in separate containers before serving to keep the flavors and texture of the fish intact.
- I do not recommend reheating fish ever in the microwave. Try eating it cold (it tastes great actually like this) or use an another method like your oven or air fryer to reheat the fish.
- Serve it with your favorite low carb tortilla or try my Keto Corn Tortilla recipe if you really want something on the side.
- Mix up a dressing or fish taco sauce with a little sour cream, lime juice, and extra Cajun dry rub to pour over your taco bowl. If you need a dairy free option try an avocado mayo instead!
- Prepare your brussel sprout fish taco slaw (or other taco bowl toppings that you desire) and set them aside.
- Mix together the Cajun BBQ Dry Rub and set it aside.
- Preheat your cooking surface (cast iron skillet, griddle, grill, smoker or oven) to 350 F.
- Remove any skin from your fish. Pat your mahi mahi fillets dry with a paper towel and then drizzle each fillet with a few teaspoons of oil so both sides are coated. You should have a little oil reserved for you pan/ grill grates as needed.
- Generously season each side of the fish fillet with the blackened seasoning and set them aside.
- Griddle/ Cast Iron Sear: Preheat the pan and add the remaining oil. Sear and press each fillet down onto the flat surface and cook 4-6 minutes per side. The fish should look opaque and become flakier and reach an internal temperature of 145 F.
- Directly Grilling: Preheat to medium heat of 350 F. Oil the grates generously before searing and follow the steps above.
- Smoking: Smoke at 250 F using lighter woods for roughly 30 minutes or until it reaches 145 F.
- Roasting/ Baking: Slow roast at 250 F. on a foil covered baking sheet until it reaches 145 F. about 30 minutes.
- Remove your hot fish and serve over your brussel sprout slaw or cabbage mixture of choice. Mix up the sour cream, lime juice, and a teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning and drizzle over the fish if desired.
If you plan to meal prep this recipe, prep the slaw ahead of time and cook the fish the day of for the freshest results. If cooking everything ahead of time, do not reheat your fish in the microwave but either eat cold or reheat in a oven or air fryer etc. if possible to avoid drying it out.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 4gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 38g