If you want to create a smoky BBQ experience without having to leave your kitchen, blackening is a wonderful cooking technique to achieve that! Whether you’re looking for a Fish Friday recipe with a difference or are simply in the mood for a smoky charred meal for dinner, Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa recipe is our best fish recipe to date! Everything from the smoky seasoning to the fresh and zingy mango salsa makes this recipe a winner!
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Why Is This Mango Salmon Recipe So Special To Us?
Now that I started writing a food blog, I realised how much of my food is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking. I first tried the salmon and fruit combination when I was working at one of the Ottolenghi delis in London. One of the dishes that was on the menu almost every day was baked salmon fillets with pineapple salsa. And it was always one of my favourite things to eat!
Years later I tasted a wonderful sea bream ceviche with mango at a small restaurant in Cheshire and instantly fell in love with the combination.
Salmon and Fruit Pairing
Salmon goes very well with a variety of fruit. Tart fruit, like lime, lemon and pineapple are perfect with oilier fish, as the sourness cuts through the oil-rich flavour. On the other hand, pairing salmon with sweet fruit, like melon, pear or mango enhances not only the rich oily flavours of cooked salmon but also complements the texture very well.
What is Blackening?
Blackening is a cooking technique typically found in Cajun cuisine. Fish or meat is drenched in oil or melted butter and rubbed with spices before cooking. Blackened dishes are usually cooked in cast-iron skillets, but can be replicated in standard frying pans too.
Tips and Tricks
- The key is to get the pan very hot before adding the fish. This ensures that the black crust will form. Not only does the crust add the smoky bbq-like flavour, but it also keeps the fish from drying out.
- Since the crust will be charred, we wouldn’t recommend using any fresh herbs in your blackening mix, as they will burn and taste bitter. The blackening comes from the butter charring in the pan, not from the spices.
- It is best to use a cast-iron skillet for blackened fish or meat dishes because it heats up to higher temperatures and more evenly. It means that your fish/meat cooks quicker and you are at less risk of burning it on the outside before it’s cooked through.
- The last piece of advice I’d give you is to turn the kitchen fan on and crack a window open. Blackening the fish will create quite a bit of smoke in your kitchen due to the combination of high-fat content and the high temperature of the pan. It is all worth it though, trust me on that one!
Mango Salsa For Salmon
Seven exotic but highly available ingredients are needed to create this wonderful mango avocado salsa, that is perfect not only for salmon but other oily fish too.
Use a ripe mango, that is sweet and soft, but not so ripe that it turns into mush when handled. Destone and peel the mango, then chop it up into small cubes. Place them in a bowl.
Similarly, destone and peel a ripe avocado and cut it into similar-sized cubes to mango. Zest about a quarter of a lime and then squeeze the juice all over the avocado and mango to prevent them from browning. Finely chop the chilli, red onion and coriander (including stalks) and place the lot in a bowl with the rest of the mango salsa ingredients. Drizzle a bit of honey and gently mix. Set the salsa aside whilst you prepare the fish.
Start cooking the rice following packet instructions. When cooked, drain and keep warm in a covered pan.
In the meantime, make the blackening seasoning by mixing all the spices, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
Melt the butter (but do not let it boil or brown). Pour it over the salmon fillets. With your fingers, rub the seasoning all over the salmon fillets.
Heat your cast iron skillet or a non-stick frying pan on high heat. No need to add oil, but make sure it is very hot before you add the salmon.
Add the fillets skin side down. Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes. Gently flip the fillets and cook for another 3-4 minutes. When cooked, squeeze over the juice of half the lime.
Serve your salmon with rice and a couple of spoonfuls of mango salsa! I’m confident you will LOVE this!
We cooked 2 salmon fillets for this recipe and chose to pan fry them, but if you’re cooking for a crowd, you may find it easier to bake the whole side of salmon. Simply rub the seasoning all over, place it on a baking tray and bake at 230°C Fan for 15-17 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Your fish won’t char, but sill still taste amazing!
Simply skip the cayenne pepper or replace it with some ground sweet paprika. The seasoning has a prominent flavour of smoked paprika so skipping or replacing cayenne will not make too much of a difference!
Other Delicious Salmon Recipes To Try
Let us know what you thought about this Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa recipe. For other salmon dinner ideas, have a look at our recipes for:
- Dukkah Salmon, Aubergine & Courgette with Harissa Drizzle and Mint Yoghurt
- Smoked Salmon Mezzaluna Pasta with Lemon Dill Butter
- Baked Salmon with Dill Creme Fraiche Sauce (recipe coming soon)
Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Cast-Iron Skillet or heavy based frying pan
For the Rub:
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp mixed dried herbs
- 20 g unsalted butter melted
- 2 salmon fillets (approx.120g each)
- ½ lime
For Mango Salsa:
- ½ ripe mango cut into small cubes
- 1 small ripe avocado cut into small cubes
- 10 g fresh coriander finely chopped
- ⅛ red onion finely chopped
- ¼ red chilli finely chopped
- ½ tsp runny honey
- ¼ lime juice & zest
- 150 g rice
- ½ lime cut in wedges
- Prepare the mango salsa by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set this aside for later.
- Start cooking rice following packet instructions. When cooked, drain and keep warm in a covered pan.
- Make the blacken seasoning by mixing all the spices and salt in a small bowl.
- Melt the butter (but do not let it boil or brown). Pour it over the salmon fillets. With your fingers, rub the seasoning all over the salmon fillets.
- Heat your cast iron skillet or a non-stick frying pan on high heat. No need to add oil, but make sure it is very hot before you add the salmon.
- Add the fillets skin side up. Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes.
- Gently flip the fillets and cook for another 3-4 minutes basting continuously. When cooked, squeeze over the juice of half the lime.
- Serve your salmon with rice and a couple of spoonfuls of mango salsa!