One of my favorite restaurants often features a yuca-crusted Mahi over a bed of very rich and spicy creamed spinach–pretty much one of the best things, ever. I love the flavor and texture of Mahi Mahi, and it is considered a sustainable fish, so I always have some in the freezer. I did not have any yuca, so I went with a sweet potato crust instead, and a simple preparation of spinach with garlic and lime. Not as drop-dead amazing as the restaurant dish, but really good and pretty simple to put together.
I tried this first with an egg wash for the fish, but it really works just as well without, so now I skip that step. I also opted to cover only one side with the sweet potato crust, but you can easily cover both sides–just make a second “nest” of sweet potatoes right before you are ready to flip the fish, and flip them onto the second nest to finish cooking. One medium sweet potato provides enough for four, single-side-coated fillets, so use two sweet potatoes for double-sided crusts.
Mahi with Crispy Sweet Potato Crust
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated (2-3 cups)
- 4 Mahi Mahi fillets, about 6 ounces each
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium high. Add four "nests" of the grated sweet potato, roughly in the shape of the fillets (do this in two batches, if your skillet is too small for all of the fillets).
- Add the fillets on top of the nests, and let them cook until the edges of the sweet potatoes are browned. Using a large spatula, carefully flip each piece of fish with its crust–you will lose a little, but you can just scoop it right back on top of the fillets. Continue cooking until the fish is just cooked through. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper, and serve.
For the spinach bed I steamed some spinach with garlic and fresh lime juice, which paired well with the sweetness of the crust. I am working on a spicy creamed spinach recipe, so stay tuned for that. You could use this same technique for salmon, which I plan to do in the near future.