Sweet & Spicy Mahi-Mahi (in the Instant Pot)

Sweet and Spicy Mahi Mahi

A lifetime ago I traveled for my job and spent much of my time in Hawaii. I stayed in Honolulu down the road from Aloha Tower Marketplace and spent many evenings there listening to music and eating copious amount of seafood. Aside from the wonderful and friendly locals, I miss the fresh seafood. When it comes to fish mahi-mahi reminds me of my time in Hawaii.

After making the Spicy Lemon Salmon in the Instant Pot I couldn’t wait to try other seafood recipes. I read somewhere that you could cook frozen fillets in the Instant Pot without any changes to the cook time. The first time I made the mahi-mahi I used frozen fillets and cooked them for 5 minutes and they were very under-cooked. I put them back in for another minute and the texture was rubbery. Frozen fillets were a FAIL in the Instant Pot.

I wasn’t going to give up so I thawed a single fillet overnight and tried again. I’m so happy I did because the fillet was light, flaky, and exactly what I expected.

Mahi-mahi is a mild fish that can handle this sweet and spicy sauce. You can adjust the heat by reducing the amount of sriracha and Nanami Togarashi and by increasing the honey. If you don’t own an Instant Pot then you can bake the mahi mahi for 12-15 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

Sweet and Spicy sauce

You’ll add a cup of water to the Instant Pot and then place your steam rack or silicone steamer in the pot with your fillet(s). I season the fillet(s) once they are in the pot. The sweet and spicy sauce is fairly thick and stays put on the silicone steamer really well. Set the timer for 5 minutes (for a fillet that is 1″ thick) on high pressure.

Sweet and Spicy Mahi Mahi on silicone steamer

When the Instant Pot beeps at you that the mahi-mahi is done you will release the pressure (i.e. quick release). It’s a quick and easy lunch or dinner that is actually healthy. I love finding new ways to use our Instant Pot so I’m happy this worked out the second time around.

Sweet and Spicy Mahi1


  • 2 mahi-mahi fillets (I thawed CostCo’s individually wrapped frozen mahi-mahi in the refrigerator overnight)
  • Salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1” piece ginger, finely grated
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Nanami Togarashi
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (hot chili sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice – we use Simply Orange Mango – much sweeter than regular OJ


  1. Sprinkle the mahi-mahi with the sea salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the garlic, ginger, lime juice, honey, Nanami Togarashi, sriracha, and orange juice. Give it a taste and adjust if the sauce is too spicy by adding more honey or orange juice.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot.
  4. Insert the stainless steel steam rack that comes with your Instant Pot to the bottom of the pot with the handles up (or silicone steamer).
  5. Place the salmon fillets on the steam rack in a single layer (or silicone steamer).
  6. Pour the sweet & spicy sauce over the fillets.
  7. Cover and lock the lid.
  8. Select “Manual” mode and press the “-” button until it reads 5 minutes. Also make sure to set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”. You’ll want to reduce the time by 1 minutes for every ¼” smaller than 1″ or increase the time by 1 minute for every ¼” larger than 1″. For example a ¾” salmon fillet will cook for 4 minutes while a 1½” salmon fillet will cook for 7 minutes. Cooking time adapted from Frieda Loves Bread.
  9. The Instant Pot will beep at you when it finishes cooking the salmon.
  10. To avoid over-cooking, move the top knob from “Sealing” to “Venting” to manually release the pressure. Once all of the pressure releases the steam will no longer come out of the vent and you’ll be able to open the lid.

Adapted from Blackberry Babe

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