Coconut-Crusted Mahi Mahi Nuggets

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi Nuggets

Anyone with a focus on healthy eating who also happens to have small children at home inevitably faces a bit of stiff competition from the McDonald’s and Pizza Huts of this world.  These companies are competing for our children’s palates and they really pull out all the stops.  For one thing, their advertising budget is just a smidge larger than the budget for Mom’s Kitchen, so they do have a tendency to catch our children’s attention.  Case in point, the “Fishy Fishy” jingle for the Fish McNuggets or whatever they are called.  My kids giggled hysterically the first time they saw that commercial and they go around singing the song just to crack each other up.  So naturally they think that the fish nuggets must be really delicious and they’ve asked me if we can go and try them.

My answer to this?  Um, child, have you met me?  Because your mother does NOT take you to fast food chains (and your father is only allowed to do so on the rarest of occasions).   I’ve never really liked fast food much, ever since I realized in my teens how awful I felt after I ate it.  And I like it even less now that I am a mother with kids whose health I care about deeply.  So it doesn’t matter how catchy and cute the jingles might be, we ain’t going.

I am not a parent who restricts her kids from all goodies and treats, but any time I can find or make a healthy alternative, I try to do so.  And making fish sticks or nuggets at home is far from difficult, although it can sometimes be messy.  This time around, I found a great way to coat the nuggets without getting my hands all covered in the egg and the coating.  Heretofore, I always dipped in the egg and then the coating by hand.  But I had the rather brilliant idea of mixing the coating in a tupperware container, and then just adding the fish pieces after they were dipped in egg and shaking the heck out of it.  Worked like a charm for a firm fish like mahi mahi – more delicate fish like tilapia might not stand up as well.

Coconut oil was the perfect thing to cook these nuggets, as it complemented the shredded coconut and made them really crispy.  Like any coated fish, they do get a little less crisp as they sit so serve immediately (or they can be gently warmed in the oven to re-crisp).  All in all, a good healthy and flavourful answer to fast food fish nuggets!


1 1/4 lb Mahi Mahi

1 large egg

1 cup almond flour

2/3 cup finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

4 lime wedges


Set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet.

Cut mahi mahi into 1 or 2 inch pieces, as you prefer.  Pat dry with a paper towel.

Whisk egg in large shallow bowl.  In a large plastic container with a lid, combine almond flour, coconut, salt and pepper.  Put on lid and shake to combine.

Tasty Mahi Nuggets!

Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add half of the fish to the egg and toss to coat, and use a fork or slotted spoon to transfer pieces to the almond flour mixture, shaking of excess egg.

Place lid on container and shake until fish pieces are well-coated.  Transfer fish pieces to skillet and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side (thinner pieces will cook faster).  Crust should be a light golden brown.

Transfer to wire rack and repeat with remaining fish.

Serve with lime wedges.

Carolyn Ketchum

Coconut-Crusted Mahi Mahi Nuggets

All Day I Dream About Food

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20 Comments Post a comment

  1. Debbie
    August 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Could I use whole wheat flour? We don’t have a gluten issue so I don’t often have other flours around the house.
    These sound delish!!!

    • August 19, 2014 at 9:30 am

      We have never tried it, but I’m sure it would turn out just fine. Let us know if you try it!

  2. Missy
    November 21, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I made this tonight, it was a hit! Thanks!

  3. Barb
    January 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I noticed a dipping sauce. What is it? Or might you suggest something.

    • January 29, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Barb – We just used a simple tartar sauce, which was delicious. Or a lemon or spicy aioli would be delicious too!

  4. Tanya
    February 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I made this for dinner last night, only because I couldn’t remember how my mom told me she normally cooked her mahi mahi so I searched Pinterest and came across this, defiantly wasn’t a disappointment at all, even my fiancé enjoyed it.

  5. Stacy
    February 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Do you know of a way to do this without the egg? My son was just diagnosed with a ton of food allergies and egg is one of them. I would love to make this though as I think he and the rest of my family would really enjoy it.

    • April 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Hello Stacey,

      Try using a sparkling water instead of the egg. The tiny bubbles provided by a rising agent or carbonation create a light and fluffy batter that makes for a delicious, crunchy coating. We hope that this helps you enjoy this delicious meal!

  6. Teresa
    April 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    this was really good…but…no way you can fry this in only two tablespoons of oil.

  7. Ember
    April 21, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Googled “keto mahi mahi” since I knew I had it in the freezer. Amazingly, I had unopened almond and coconut flours, as well. The texture of the fish is just amazing and such a quick dinner.

    I mixed the last of the egg into the leftover coating and made four little hush puppies 😉 Thank you so much for the recipe!!

    • April 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm


      We are so glad to hear you liked it! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  8. Ginger Hale
    September 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Just found this recipe, so sorry for the late comment. But I’m allergic to almonds (any tree nut really). Would some other type of flour work (I saw someone mention coconut flour in another comment) or would it not yield the same results?

  9. Bridget
    November 7, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    This was a great recipe. I had just cooked bacon so rather than using coconut oil I used bacon grease. We did a butter lemon drizzle on top and served the fish with spinach also cooked in the bacon grease topped with a little parmesan cheese. We will make again. Thanks for creating it!

  10. Brenda Walker
    March 11, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    This was wonderful! I made it for my family tonight and it was a complete hit with everyone!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  11. Jody Goodman
    March 27, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Just waiting on this recipe in the airfryer. I would be GREAT with a pineapple mango salsa, and maybe ground mac nuts in the mix for some of the almond? I’ll try that next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Qua
    May 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    What’s in the dipping sauce?

  13. Kristina
    November 13, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Did you use fresh or frozen mahi mahi? I have some frozen and am wondering if I should thaw to make this?

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