Easy Thai Mango Cucumber Salsa + Tilapia

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I've been a busy girl this past weekend. First, I received a last minute invite to the New York City Police Foundation's Gala at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria. Then, the next night, a blogger's sleepover at Citizen M. After an early weekend of indulgence, all I want was a light homemade dinner.



Since I've been out, my fridge was looking pretty empty. Luckily, I had a package of fish that I was defrosting - fish I was supposed to have for dinner on the night of the gala. Score! You see, The Saucy Fish Co. reached out to me recently to ask if I wanted to try their line of fresh fish and sauce pairings. They're a UK based company, launching their range of fish in the US this year. I'll posting a final review once I've tried more of them, but today this pack of thawing fish definitely came to the rescue (and delicious to boot!)

So here I was with their package of tilapia fillet paired with a mango & chili sauce and nothing really to eat the fish with. Usually I would just make rice, but as I'm trying to keep my diet relatively carb-free, I had to brainstorm harder. Somehow, I also managed to have some tomatoes, a mango (strangely), and some cucumbers left in the fridge.

And then hit me: Mango + Cucumber + Sauce = Mango Salsa! Don't you love it when things just work out?

Now, this might sound a bit silly, but the idea of making this dish got me really excited.  I've seen this dish prepared time and time again, but never been motivated enough to execute it on my own. I've never made mango salsa before, and have never bought tilapia to cook.

The unknown can be a scary thing, but having this pre-made sauce by my side gave me some confidence that I could quickly pull this off quickly and have it actually taste good!

As I was pan-frying the tilapia, I diced the mango, cucumber, tomatoes and some red onion I had laying around. Then I mixed in the pre-made Mango & Chili Sauce made with water, mango, grapeseed oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, red chili puree, lime juice, cornstarch, ginger puree, salt, lemongrass, lime leaves, cilantro - all ingredients I can read, a good sign!



I'm always a fan of thai flavors, so the hint of lemongrass and lime leaves was a pleasant surprise. The sauce kind of reminded me of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce which I would imagine would be a decent substitute if you wanted to replicate this recipe without The Saucy Fish Co.'s sauce.



One last thing about this recipe. I've been trying to embrace the new coconut oil trend, but have found it not very good to being non-stick in pan-frying things. My fried eggs have been disastrously stuck onto my pan. I must have forgotten this when my package of fish suggested that I can either pan-fry or oven-cook the fish.

I decided to pan-fry it for some crispy texture. Sadly, as you can see in my photo above, as past lessons should have taught me - some of the fish ended up sticking to the pan. Maybe next time I'll remember to fry with a different oil or just bake it in the oven!

Just as quickly as I prepared this dish, it quickly disappeared as J and I devoured it. The only thing we were hoping for from the sauce was more spice, which is just my personal spicy appetite and I'm glad I'm slowly passing that on to J!

Disclosure: The Saucy Fish Co. sent me a few packages of their fish line for review, but all thoughts are my own. 

Easy Thai Mango Cucumber Salsa + Tilapia

Serves 2
10 oz tilapia (if frozen, defrosted)
1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil, if pan-frying

Thai Mango Salsa
½ mango, cubed
2 persian cucumbers, seeds removed & cubed
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon red onions, diced
3 tablespoon of pre-made sauce (either Mango & Chili Sauce or Thai Sweet Chili Sauce)
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (optional)
½ tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes (optional)
salt to taste

1. Prepare Mango Salsa. In a bowl, mix everything besides tilapia and grapeseed oil together. Let sit for 5 minutes, and taste to see if you want the salsa more salty or spicy. Add salt & red crushed pepper flakes as needed.

2. Cook Tilapia. If pan-frying, heat oil on large frying pan on medium high. Add fish and cook on each side for 4-5 minutes, until fish turns opaque. If cooking in (toaster) oven, set oven at 400° F and cook for about 15-17 minutes, check to see if fish turns opaque.

3. Plate fish + salsa. Once your fish is cooked, top off fish with salsa. Enjoy!

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