Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau Recipe

Serves/Makes: 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds mahi-mahi fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • About 8 large fresh ti leaves or 1 package (1pound) thawed frozen banana leaves
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and inner ribs trimmed
  • 8 green onions, white and pale green parts only
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (4 inches), peeled and minced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • About 2 tablespoons Hawaiian red clay salt or sea salt
How to cook Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau:
  • If using ti leaves, cut each leaf in half along center rib and discard rib. If using banana leaves, soak in warm water to soften. Tear 12 long, narrow strips from 1 to 2 leaves and boil 30 seconds; drain. Cut remaining leaves with the grain into 24 strips, each about 12x3-inch.
  • Cut the mahi-mahi fillets into 12 equal pieces (about 2x2-inch each) and sprinkle both sides with coarse kosher salt. Chill 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut carrot, bell pepper, and green onions into 2-inch lengths and then cut into thinnest possible slivers. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add vegetables and ginger and saute, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Arrange 2 strips of ti or banana leaves, shiny sides down, on top of one another in a cross shape. Place 1 mahi-mahi piece in center of cross, then top with a generous tablespoon vegetable mixture. Beginning with lower strip, fold leaves over filling, alternating stips and using each new strip to fold loose end of previous strip over filling. Tuck last stip beneath packet, then tie closed with boiled leaf strips. Repeat with remaining leaf strips, fish, and vegetables.
  • Set a rack or steamer basket in a large pot and add water to about 1/2-inch below top of rack. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Place mahi-mahi packets in a single layer on rack or in basket (steam in batches if necessary). Cover pot tightly and steam until fish is just barely opaque in the center, 6 to 10 minutes (do not overcook, cut to test). Tip packets to drain any water.
  • Serve the Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau hot or warm, with lime wedges and Hawaiian red clay salt.
Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau recipe


Green Hawaiian ti ("tee") leaves are traditionally used both to wrap food and in flower arrangements.
Hawaiian red clay salt is sold in specialty-food stores; it has a distinctive color, crunch, and earthy flavor.


Lau-Lau is a dish that takes any type of meat and wraps it with ti leaves and is steamed.

This recipe for Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau serves/makes: 12 servings

The Hawaiian Steamed Mahi-Mahi Lau-Lau recipe is adopted from Kate Washington, Sunset, NOVEMBER 2006.

Main Ingredient: Mahi-Mahi (more Mahi-Mahi recipes)
Preparation Method: Steamed (more Steamed recipes)
Cuisine: Hawaiian (more Hawaiian recipes)

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