|Last night I decided to get all Iron Chef with the 2nd half of the halibut I caught recently. The menu was sesame-encrusted halibut with sweet potato fries and mango salsa. The sweet potato fries were okay, nothing special. The sesame-encrusting thing was disappointing: the sesame crust was too heavy and clunky and I managed to slightly overcook the fish. I think I'll stick to panko breading with a few sesame seeds thrown in. But the mango salsa rocked beyond all expectations.
This salsa is excellent with fish. In fact, it is the perfect condiment for any style of fish I can think of. The sweetness of the mango is offset by the heat of the ginger. In fact, thats one of the tricks: to get enough ginger in there to balance the mango. The onion creates body for the salsa, adding crunch and tang. The heat of the serrano plays with the heat of the ginger. The lime juice helps to preserve the color of the mango and adds a little something to the bouquet. The tequila, salt, and pepper help to brighten the flavors a bit.
BTW, this is an original recipe that has been rattling around in my head for awhile now. I know mango salsa isn't an original concept, but I haven't seen mango-ginger salsa before.
Mango Ginger Salsa
1 barely ripe mango, cut into 1/4"-1/2" cubes
1/2 Maui onion, chopped into 1/4"-1/2" cubes
1.5"-2" fresh ginger root, sliced thin, smashed, and minced
1 serrano pepper, de-seeded, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
small dash of tequila
1/2 tsp salt
couple grinds of pepper
mix well and chill
1) If you wear contact lenses, or want to touch your eyes sometime in the next 3 days, wear gloves while handling the serranos. Failing to wear gloves is a mistake you won't make more than once.
2) I thought about adding a little cilantro or mint, but after tasting the salsa without it I decided that herbs would distract from that ginger-mango-pepper blitz.
3) Avoid temptation and go light on the tequila. Too much alcohol can bring out a bitterness in the mango.
4) Heat it up with an extra serrano if you wish, or just leave the seeds in. The idea, though, was to get most of the heat from the ginger, so I will suggest not over-doing the peppers.
5) If you can't get Maui onions, other sweet onions will do. But remember, Maui no ka oi.
6) Apple mangos would be really good for this recipe, if you're fortunate enough to have any around.