Mahi mahi exemplifies the type of fish you want to cook to medium rare. Its exquisite texture and delicate mouthfeel diminish the longer they overcook, resulting in a tough, sinewy fish that chews more like meat than seafood. Pan searing, or quickly sauteing the fish on both sides in a little oil, is the only way to go if you're cooking mahi indoors. A little olive oil, a hot pan and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and fresh are all mahi need to lift your spirits.
Pat the mahi fillets or steaks dry with paper towels and season them to taste on both sides. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and set it over medium heat.
Lay the mahi in the pan and sear it it's golden brown and the edges curl away from the pan, about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn it over using a slotted spatula.
Sear the mahi on the other side until the edges start to curl away from the pan. Check the temperature in the center of the fillet using an instant-read thermometer. It should read about 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the mahi steaks or fillets out of the pan when they reach 135 F, or continue cooking them, turning them over every minute, until they do. Transfer the mahi to a plate and serve immediately.
Mahi steaks take about 4 minutes longer to cook to 135 F than fillets do.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking mahi mahi to 145 F.