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Fennel Seared Mahi Mahi with Orange Raita

Serves 4
The influence Indian fare has on Palm Tree Cuisine is immense. The intense flavors of toasted spices and the creamy textures offered by cooling yogurt dips easily complement signature fish from other tropical regions. Here, I like to think of the spice as harmony and the raita as counterpoint to the melody of Hawaii’s mahi-mahi.

Fennel Seared Mahi Mahi with Orange Raita
  • 4 Large Scallions

  • 2 Teaspoons Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Teapoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Whole Star Anise Pods
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme Leaves
  • 4 6oz Mahi-Mahi Fillets
  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Large Orange, Zested & Segmented
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Mint
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

To Prepare:
Cut the scallions into very thin rounds starting at the white section and going halfway up the pale green section (do not use the green parts). Put them into a small bowl filled with ice-cold water. Cover and refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the scallions. Set aside.

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns, and star anise until aromatic, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the salt and thyme and crush the spices in a spice grinder. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture. With the rest, season the mahi-mahi on both sides and set aside until ready to cook.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt lightly with a fork until smooth and creamy. Mix in the orange zest, 1 tablespoon of toasted spice mixture, and cayenne. Stir in the scallions and mint. Chill raita until ready to use.

Pre-heat a black steel pan. Drizzle olive oil over mahi-mahi. Brown the fillets well on the first side for 3 minutes. Turn them carefully and pan-sear for another 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove the fish from the heat to a colorful platter. Garnish with raita and orange segments.


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