Grilling season is upon us, and I’d love to share one of my favorite ways to serve grilled salmon. I love the smoky flavor of grilled salmon but have to admit the thing I love best about this is entire endeavor is the fresh mango and lime sauce. This sauce has it all – rich and creamy mango, a kick of lime, and just the right balance of salt. Better yet, you can make it in five minutes. It’s also one of those recipes where you are completely in the driver’s seat. More lime? Add more. More salt? Go for it. Want to spice it up with some sriracha? You’re driving. Drizzle this beauty on grilled seafood or chicken, serve alongside fresh or steamed vegetables, or eat it with a spoon – it’s that good. I’ve also dreamt up a coconut rice to go along with the fish, that made with Jasmine rice, and flavored with coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, and lime, and chives. It’s always a good strategy to make sure you manage to accidentally on purpose get some of that mango sauce mixed in too. Aloha!!
The salmon is a no-fuss straightforward affair. Spray with some olive oil, salt and pepper him up, and toss the cut filets on the grill on medium high heat. They are done when they are just opaque in the center. That being said, the salmon can wait till you’re just about ready with the sauce and the rice. The rice goes first, and is a snap. If you are going with the option of adding chopped roasted sweet potatoes (which I think is a pretty good idea since it adds some needed sweetness), peel them, cut them into small pieces, and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. And now for the rice: Haul out a shallow pan, toss in some water and coconut milk, a little salt and dried coconut flakes. Get it to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer and let it alone for about 20 minutes. You’ll want to peek from time to time and give it a little stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, but that’s all there is to it. When the rice is done, stir in some chives, fresh lime zest, the roasted sweet potatoes, and you are good to go! However, I love added some chopped peanuts and some roasted coconut to the top, and maybe a squeeze of fresh lime if you are so inclined.
And now lets get serious about this sauce. I call it a ‘Fresh Mango and Lime Sauce’ but in reality my favorite way to make this is with frozen, thawed mango chunks. It tastes just like fresh, and there is no inherent risk of losing a finger in the mango wresting effort. There is also no cussing involved with the frozen option, which I find myself doing loudly when attempting to persuade a mango to give up it’s fruit. The best way to describe this sauce, other than fresh, light, and irresistible, is that it almost reminds me of a mango mayonnaise because it is so luscious and rich. Truth of the matter is, it’s 2/3 fruit and 1/3 oil which is a very healthy ratio. If you aren’t in the mood to make the rice, the salmon and sauce are good right along with just about anything. I like to serve this on a bed of fresh herbs with some chive blossoms tossed on there, just for the heck of it.
If you do go the rice route, it’s kind of fun to make a bed of the rice, add the fish and sauce on the top, and you’ve got everything in one bite. This is what I call efficiency eating, which means I can eat faster.
Hope you love this one!! As always, thanks so much for reading today, I really appreciate it. xoxoxox
- FOR THE SALMON
- 1 large fresh salmon filet, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces (depending on the serving size you’d like)
- FOR THE MANGO & LIME SAUCE
- 2-3 fresh mangos, peeled and cut into large chunks OR about 3 cups of frozen mango chunks, thawed (I love this option because there is no mess and no missing fingers from my knife slipping while trying to wrestle the pit from the fresh mango). The goal here is to arrive at 2 cups of mango puree once you blend all the pieces. A 12-ounce fresh mango should give you about 1 cup of fruit, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry).
- 2 fresh limes, juiced (you might want an extra lime on hand in case you like more lime in the sauce – just to keep your options open) ANOTHER NOTE: This makes about 3 cups of sauce which is more than you’ll need, but as I may have mentioned earlier, it’s nice to have on hand to add to just about anything you can think of.
- 1 cup of canola or other neutral oil
- Salt to taste – start with ¼ teaspoon and work your way up until you get the salt balance you like best.
- Pepper, sriracha, or hot sauce to taste (optional)
- FOR THE COCONUT RICE
- 1 ½ cups Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk (I used Lite coconut milk)
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 lime
- ½ cup chopped chives or slivered green onion
- 2-3 teaspoons butter
- Fresh lime for final seasoning (optional)
- 1 cup of roasted sweet potato pieces (optional, but it’s a good idea and it balances out and gives the coconut a little needed sweetness – you’ll also need some honey or Agave if you go this route)
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts (optional- to be used as a topping)
- FOR THE SALMON
- Slice the salmon filet into 2 to 3-inch slices, depending on the size of the serving you’d like to create.
- Season with salt and pepper and give the fillets a spray of olive oil to keep the moisture in.
- Grill over medium high heat until opaque in the middle.
- FOR THE MANGO & LIME SAUCE
- In a blender, combine the mango chunks, lime and ¼ teaspoon salt and peppery element (if using) until pureed.
- With the blender still running, drizzle in the oil and process until thick and smooth.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
- FOR THE COCONUT RICE.
- In a large sauce pan, combine the water, coconut milk salt, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
- Bring to a boil and add the rinsed and drained Jasmine rice.
- Reduce heat to a strong simmer and cook the rice until it is just tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and toss in the lime zest, chives, butter, and sweet potatoes (if using). Cover with a towel and let rest for about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add the chives or green onion, adjust seasoning if needed. Finish with some fresh lime juice if you want to and serve with chopped peanuts on top.
- NOTE: To make the sweet potatoes – Peel 1 or 2 sweet potatoes (I used the Red Garnets), cut into about ½ inch cubes, and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil and liberally sprayed with kitchen spray. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a little bit of Agave or honey.
- Roast at 375 degrees until tender, which in my oven takes about 20 minutes.