Mahi Mahi Stewed with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers

For this Sicilian dish, mahi mahi is stewed with cherry tomatoes and capers plus onions, and olives. The mahi mahi becomes infused with a salty-sweet flavor.

White bowl fill wth mahi mahi stewed with cherry tomatoes and capers in a broth

When I visited the southeastern tip of Sicily in October, everyone was feasting on lampuca alla matalotta, filled with cherry tomatoes and capers and made with a delicious kind of blue-fleshed fish that approaches the coast that time of year; fishermen still lure this shade-loving fish by extending palm branches off the sides of their boats.

I learned later that this fish is also known as capone and that mahi mahi is our closest equivalent. I especially like the version served by chef Lina Campisi of La Cialoma, on which this recipe is loosely based; she leaves out the green olives often included by other cooks.–Toni Lydecker

LC Satisfying On Its Own Note

You may want to consider a side dish to soak up this salty-spicy broth—one of our testers recommends our Lemon Israeli Couscous for the job, but you may be equally happy slurping the soup straight from the spoon. No judgment here.

Mahi Mahi Stewed with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 4 servings
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Sprinkle the mahi mahi fillets lightly with salt.

Combine the onion, olive oil, and 1/4 cup water in a skillet large enough to hold the mahi mahi in a single layer. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer briskly but not furiously until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes, olives (if using), parsley, capers, red pepper flakes to taste, and another 1/4 cup water.

Once the cooking liquid returns to a simmer, lay the mahi mahi fillets on top, skin side down. Cover and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. At this point, the tomatoes will have released their juices and there should be a small ladleful of brothy sauce for each serving; if not, remove the mahi mahi to a platter, add a little more water and heat briefly. Taste and stir in a bit more salt and pepper flakes if needed.

Ladle the sauce into shallow soup bowls; place a mahi mahi fillet in each one.

Print RecipeBuy the Seafood alla Siciliana cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was an exceptionally easy dish to prepare—a nice, easy, one-pot meal. I think it took me 20 minutes to make from start to finish. The fish is extremely moist, and there’s great flavor from the capers, olives, and cherry tomatoes. If you find there’s not enough liquid from the cherry tomatoes, the recipe instructs you to add a little more water after removing the cooked fish. You could also use some white wine to deglaze the pan, reduce slightly and add more liquid to it. This would give the dish a flavor boost. One of the best things about this recipe is that the author suggests six other types of fish that can be used instead of the mahi mahi. This is a great help to home cooks—very often I get questions from my cooking school students on what other fish or meats they can use in a recipe, and I know they struggle, especially with interchanging various types of fish. I’d make this recipe again and again to try these different fish to see which one I like the best.

This recipe is quick and easy. In fact, the couscous I made as a side dish took longer. It’s nice that the recipe gives you several fish choices in a generous price range. Make sea bass for a special dinner. Tight budget this week? Cod it is. The brothy sauce was wonderful, with bits of olives and capers giving a salty buzz to the mildly sweet fish. The recipe instructs laying the fish on top of the sauce, but I’d spoon the sauce over the fish before covering the pan. Don’t fret if you can’t find salt-preserved capers at your local supermarket; just use the ones in vinegar brine that are more widely available. The difference in taste in the finished sauce is not significant enough to warrant a rush-order from an online gourmet store.

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  1. The lovely people at Imperfect Foods sent me some Mahi Mahi this week, and I was delighted to discover that I had all the ingredients in my fridge for this recipe on LC!

    I didn’t measure too much- this recipe is super forgiving – and it turned out delicious with just-bursting tomatoes and briny olives and yes, that warm olive oil to lap up.

    So easy, so delicious, and so Mediterranean Diet that I’ve decided that I’ve added a year onto my life expectancy tonight.

    1. I love that, Janet! Great food AND increased life expectancy!! Your meal looks gorgeous. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.

  2. Lovely, light summer dish and easy breezy too. We had fresh mahi mahi and was so glad to find this recipe recommended by Beth Price from Leitesculinaria. Thank you.

  3. Lovely, light meal. Luckly, I was able to find some beautiful, fresh Mahi Mahi and it was fragrant and delious! The tomatoes added sweetness, and the capers were a perfect addition. I did add the olives, but used capers in brine vs. salt preserved. Will happily make again!

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