Mahi-Mahi Coconut Style in Ti-leaf Package and Opakapaka with Black Bean Sauce

By Marilyn Jansen

Mahi is a beautiful, white, flaky fish caught fresh from the waters of the clean ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. In Mexico, it is called Dorado. It is a colorful blue and yellow fish when fresh from the sea. We prepare it many ways, but this is a favorite Polynesian style.

4 eight oz. mahi-mahi filets
8 large ti leaves with rib removed
lemon grass, chopped
ginger, chopped
garlic, minced
lime juice
sesame oil
coconut milk

Lay the mahi on a ti leaf, with lemon grass, ginger, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Pour coconut milk over filet and a few drops sesame oil. Tie ti-leaf and wrap with another ti-leaf using rib to tie; then steam or grill for 10-15 minutes. Serve with steamed white jasmine or calrose rice and mango salsa!

Whole Fish
Steamed Opakapaka

It is not difficult to prepare a whole fish. This is how we can serve many people with ease. Amaryllis learned to prepare dinner for twelve her first time in the Bay Area, when she served whole, baked salmon caught fresh from the sea. This was so easy to prepare! The cleaned fish (gutted, with head removed) was stuffed with whole mushrooms, slices of onions, dried sweet basil, and pieces of butter. The fish was dotted with butter and basil, then covered in foil to bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees! She would look in to see that the fish was pink and moist and perfectly cooked. The sweet basil was so fragrant! To serve, she would cut into 2-inch sections for each person. The mushrooms and onions and buttery juices were drizzled on top of each serving and garnished with lemon wedges. She served a green salad and wild rice. In Hawaii, she discovered the moist, deep water fish opakapaka, or Hawaiian pink snapper. Hawaii’s seafood has been described as the best in the world! The islands are so remote and the waters so clean. The fish are awesome. She loves steamed opakapaka with a black bean sauce. Black-bean sauce is easy to prepare. She uses 4 tbsp. salted, dried, black beans and 2 and 1/2 cups of water. Boil these in a frying pan, add 1 tbsp. cornstarch to thicken, then add chopped green onions. One tsp. of sugar is added. Cook 5 minutes.The whole cleaned, scaled fish is rubbed with Hawaiian salt and steamed in a long fish-steamer for 20 minutes. The fish is scored, salted black bean sauce and green onions are poured over it, then drizzled with hot peanut oil and served on a platter. Guests can pick at the fish with chopsticks!

Serve with steamed white jasmine or calrose rice and mango salsa!

My name is Marilyn Jansen. I live on the island of Maui pursuing life as a writer and budding artist. I worked as a registered nurse for 14 years until I began to follow my true dream of expressing myself creatively through drawing, painting, writing, designing books, creating jewelry, and fashion designs and developing a line of food products to go with my cookbook. It is so fulfilling to pursue a dream with a passion!
I love to do Hawaiian Quilting, & Hand-painting on t-shirts. I plan to create DVDs of a craft series to go with small books. I have painted on tees for over 25 years and have taught teens and adults how to paint. They love it! It is fun and healing for the body, mind, soul & spirit. When creativity flows we feel alive, energized by the excitement overflowing from us. We also experience relaxation because we let ourselves go! It is my goal to get young people interested in gardening & cooking & sewing so they can develop passions of their own. Life is great when we slow down and enjoy the simple things and find beauty in everyday life. Aloha!

Leave a Reply