Halibut with Spicy Mango Salad – Thai Cooking
Today, we’re making a Thai style spicy mango salad. To go with it, I’m cooking up a mouth-watering pan-fried halibut from my friends at Dor-Bel Fine Foods. Dor-Bel is the only retailer in Alberta that sells sustainable seafood carrying the Oceanwise brand. This mango salad is very simple to prepare and is a prime example of the flavours that are typical to Thai cuisine.
For the mango salad, you will need:
- 1 green mango (firm, not ripe)
- a slice of watermelon
- 2-5 thai chilies (adjust to your tolerance)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown)
- the juice of 1 lime
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- ¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
For the halibut:
- 2 (8 oz) portions halibut fillet
- 1 thai chili, finely minced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to season
Start by drizzling some extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the watermelon. Put on a grill on high heat and grill them til they have those nice marks. Watermelon tastes incredible when grilled. The surface sugars caramelize and take on a honey flavour that will complement the other flavours in the salad. When the watermelon is done, cut into cubes and set aside.
Peel the mango and cut it into julienne. No fancy tools needed, just make parallel cuts into the fruit by hacking it with a knife and shave the strips off into a large mixing bowl. If you have a mortar and pestle, pound the Thai chilies to release the oils and fragrance. Alternatively, you can use a knife handle, mallet or a rolling pin. Add the chilies to the mango, then add the fish sauce. Toss lightly to combine then the sugar. The sugar will balance out the flavour of the fish sauce and chili. To that, add the shallot, cilantro and green onion. Finally, add the juice of 1 lime and the watermelon and toss everything together until combined. Set aside in the fridge and let’s cook the halibut.
On a cutting board, evenly sprinkle on 1 or 2 chopped chilies then drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil. Add a touch of kosher salt, then put the halibut on the board. Flip them over to get the seasoning all over both sides.
From here, you can either pop them on the grill or panfry in a hot skillet with a couple tablespoons of oil (I prefer pan-frying because I like to get that nice crust). Fish takes very little time to cook, so you’ll only need to cook until the meat is golden brown.
To finish, simply plate the fish and put the mango salad right on top. Serve right away and enjoy!
If you don’t have halibut, you can use any kind of meaty fish that’s not too fatty like catfish or red snapper. My halibut today was donated by the fine folks at Dor-Bel Fine Foods, who are partners with the Oceanwise organization. Oceanwise is a non-profit organization that researches and compiles information on fish and shellfish stocks in an effort to educate retailers and restaurants on what seafood to buy or avoid.
This simple fried fish goes well with the spicy, sour and sweet Thai flavours of the mango salad. Take this recipe, make it yours and have fun in the kitchen.
Do you like seafood? If so, what is your favourite kind?