Spache the Spatula

Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa (Summer Corn 4 Ways)

Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa

This is the last in a series of four posts that use summer corn. The others can be found here:

Corn Risotto with Basil Breadcrumbs, Pancetta, and a Fried Egg

Thomas Keller’s Creamed Corn

Oaxacan-Style Corn on the Cob

Please let me know in the comments, or through social media, if you would like to see more sets of posts that are focused around a single ingredient!

There is not enough seafood on this blog. There is not enough seafood in my diet. How is it that I live in a city so well known for its abundance of fresh fish and shellfish, and I only eat seafood about once a month?! This needs to change, my friends, and it’s going to change starting now!

I had a Groupon for Pike’s Place Fish Market (yes, the one where they throw the fish around), so Mikey and I made a trip down to Pike’s with the plan of coming up with a dish based on whatever food called out to me at the market. Pike’s is actually one of the main reasons why I chose to teach myself to cook! When I first visited Pike’s, I was in complete awe of the vibrant produce and fresh fish just laid out before me; my creative side (that I didn’t even know I had) was immediately piqued!


The abundance of gorgeous, local fruits, veggies, pasta, seafood, meats, and more completely inspired me. I’ve now lived in Seattle for over four years, and Pike’s is still just as magical to me :]. Sure, you have to wade through seas of people just to purchase an apple, but it is so totally worth it!

Anyways, when we got to the fishmongers, the fresh mahi caught my eye. I stood around for a minute, holding my pound of mahi mahi, wondering what I was going to create, when I noticed that Pike Place Fish Market sold seasonings. As soon as I saw the blackened seasoning, I knew that fish tacos were on the menu.

Blackened Seasoning

Mikey isn’t a big raw tomato eater, so I wanted to make a tomato-less salsa to top the tacos. I really wanted this meal to scream summer, so I went with the first two things that come to my mind when I think of summer food: corn and watermelon! The salsa turned out really amazing. The sweetness of the summer corn and watermelon is offset by the sour notes from the apple cider vinegar and the lime juice. You don’t notice the spiciness with the first bite, but after you swallow, there is a definite piquancy that that hits you right in the back of the throat.

Corn and Watermelon Salsa

While the salsa is incredibly tasty on these tacos, it also makes a fun burger topping. I think it would also be pretty yummy on some grilled chicken, or even pork!

These tacos are actually one of the dishes that I am most proud of. Mikey and I both agreed that they actually turned out really impressive, and were “restaurant-quality.” Best of all? They’re pretty simple to make (especially if you make the salsa ahead of time), and are very conducive to a serve-yourself atmosphere of a cook-out or party!

Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa
Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa
Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa

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Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa


for the corn and watermelon salsa:

  • 3 ears corn, shucked
  • 3 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 red jalapeño, diced, seeds and ribbing removed
  • 1 spring onion, diced (white bulb and light green part only)
  • 1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt, to taste
  • cilantro, to garnish

for the tacos:

  • 1 lb mahi mahi fillet, skin removed
  • blackened seasoning
  • olive oil
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • cotija cheese
  • crema mexicana
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • lime wedges


for the corn and watermelon salsa:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the corn in tinfoil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow the corn to cool a bit, and then cut the kernels from the cobs.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the corn kernels, watermelon, jalapeño, and onion; set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cider vinegar, agave syrup, mustard seeds, and lime juice. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the corn and watermelon mixture. Toss to coat and season, to taste, with salt.
  5. Allow the salsa to chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge prior to serving. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

for the tacos:

  1. Coat the fish on all sides in the blackening seasoning. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the fish in, and cook for 2-4 minutes per side. Remove the fish and place on plate, tented with tin foil.
  2. In a small skillet, heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil over high heat. Cook the tortillas (a couple at a time) on both sides for a couple minutes until they begin to bubble and slightly char. Set aside.
  3. Flake the fish using two forks.
  4. When ready to assemble, place some of the mahi in the center of a corn tortilla. Top with a slice of avocado, a drizzle of crema mexicana, a scoop of the salsa, some crumbled cotija cheese, a pinch of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

recipe slightly adapted from here

Corn and Watermelon SalsaBlackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa

4 Responses to “Blackened Mahi Tacos with Corn and Watermelon Salsa (Summer Corn 4 Ways)”

  1. Pingback: Blackened Chicken Tacos | Simply Sophisticated Cooking

  2. Pingback: Recipe Roundup: Summer Watermelon | Kristi's Farm to Table

  3. Codi — May 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hi!  I’m a non-seafood eater that’s planning on spending the month of June trying to like seafood.  Tacos are definitely on the list, because … who doesn’t like tacos?  Just wondering, you reference halibut in the narrative but put mahi mahi in the recipe.  Are they the same?  Which should I look for?


    • Rachael replied: — May 30th, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

      LOL! I can’t believe that hasn’t been mentioned, yet. Nono idea why I said Halibut. It’s mahi mahi, but I’m sure halibut would be delicious also! Both are firm white fish.

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