Macadamia Nut Encrusted Mahi Mahi


Handley’s 2016 Recipe Contest 1st Place Winner

By: Jeff of Granite Bay, California

1 c panko

2/3 c chopped macadamia nuts

2 t ginger

4 mahimahi (or Opah, Ono, etc.) fillets (6oz each)



Chili Oil (for final plating)

Sesame Potato Cakes 

3 medium baking potatoes

¼ c shredded or julienne carrot

¼ c shredded or julienne zucchini

¼ c julienne Maui onion

3 T sour cream

1 ½ t black sesame seeds

1 ½ t white sesame seeds



Oil for sautéing (or baking)

Sauteed Spinach 

1 T chopped shallots

1 T butter

8 oz fresh spinach leaves, rinsed



Chili Coconut Butter Sauce 

½ c Handly dry white wine

½ c heavy whipping cream

½ c homemade fish or light chicken stock (a combo works nicely)

½ c unsweetened coconut milk

2 t shallots, finely chopped

½ t ginger, finely minced

½ t sweet Thai chili sauce

1 t basil, Chiffonade or finely chopped

2 T butter



In a food processor combine panko, macadamia nuts and ginger and chop until fine.  Season mahi mahi with salt and pepper. Lightly dust fillets with flour, and dip in milk and egg mixture.  Coat all surfaces with macadamia nut mixture, lightly pressing to make it stick to the fillets. Place fillets in a baking pan, allowing reasonable separation to the other fillets for even heating

Sesame Potato Cakes 

Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until pierced somewhat easily with skewer.  Cool potatoes, then peel and grate in large shreds.  In a skillet saute carrot, zucchini and onion until tender.  Combine potatoes, carrots, zucchini, onion, sour cream, and sesame seeds.  Blend well.  Season with salt and pepper.

Form into four patties.  There are two option for cooking. Pan fry with grape seed oil on medium high heat until browned on both sides.  Or optionally, place on oiled baking sheet or muffin top pan and bake in a 400-degree oven until browned (about 15 – 20 minutes). The Pan fried method has slightly better results, but the oven method shortens the preparation time. Keep warm until ready to use.

Sauteed Spinach 

Just before final plating, sweat shallots in butter until transparent.  Add spinach and sauté until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chili Coconut Butter Sauce 

[Hint: Usually we double this recipe because everyone says the sauce is the best part.] In a small saucepan combine white wine, heavy cream, chicken broth, coconut milk, shallots and ginger.  Simmer and reduce to about 1/3 cup.  Add chili sauce and basil.   Slowly whisk in butter until all the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce.

Final Plating

Place a thin layer of chili coconut butter sauce on a plate.  Place a sesame potato cake on the sauce.  Place wilted shallot/spinach mixture on top of the potato cake and then a fish fillet.  Drizzle on the chili coconut butter sauce on top of the stack.

Place decorative basil Chiffonade, flowers, or other micro greens on top. Add ‘dots’ of red chili oil in sauce perimeter for flavor surprises, and decoration.


Sauvignon Blanc