Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Mango - Coconut Halibut Skewers

I'm always extremely disappointed when I cut into a mango that seems perfectly ripe from the outside, only to find it is a bit overripe. This is what happened to me a couple of days ago. I immediately thought of using the mango as a marinade...

I knew that I had two limes to use, as well as some avocado, pistachios and the leftover couscous from the previous night's dinner. This was an easy one...the couscous became a salad, with the addition of diced red and yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and cucumber all dressed with olive oil and fresh lime juice.

The remaining half lime and the mango blended with coconut milk and sriracha, became a marinade. I bought some halibut, which I cut into large chunks and skewered.

Everything was garnished with the avocado and pistachios. A beautiful, colourful meal, with the mango marinade a contrast in sweetness and spiciness.

To make the marinade, blend together:

1 large mango
3/4 cup coconut milk
Juice of half a lime
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut the halibut into 1" chunks. I had:

1 lb halibut

Pour half the marinade over the fish and gently turn the pieces to make sure they are well coated.

Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

While the fish was marinating, I made the salad by halving grape tomatoes, and dicing red and yellow peppers and cucumber and adding them to the leftover couscous (see the post Chicken Breasts with Pomegranate Glaze, Feta Cheese and Vegetable Couscous for the recipe I had used). I seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper, and added the juice from the remaining one and a half limes, along with some olive oil to make a quick dressing.

Skewer the fish chunks; I made 4 skewers, two for each of us.

Grill the fish on a hot, well oiled grill, turning once.

The fish does not take long to cook, so keep an eye on it. My fish took about 5 minutes to cook.

Serve the halibut skewers on top of the couscous salad, and garnish with pistachios and diced avocado. Pass the remaining marinade around, to be used as a sauce.

  • The beauty of this meal wasn't just the fact that I used up leftover couscous, ripe mango and two was also nice and light, but still filling.
  • The fish can be left as a fillet, marinated and then grilled or baked. I liked the idea of skewers for visual appeal, and for the fact that more of the fish would be exposed to the coconut and mango.
  • Fish should not be left in a marinade for any longer than thirty minutes, as it will start to break down and become mushy. This is important when the amount of acid in the marinade is high, as that is what starts to break down the protein. The oil in the marinade stops the fish from drying out, and the rest of the ingredients are there to add flavour.
  • Fresh herbs can be added. Try parsley, cilantro or chives. Add other spices such as ground cumin, fresh garlic or ginger, chili flakes or increase the amount of sriracha.
  • Other firm fish can be used...haddock, cod, marlin, mahimahi, scallops, prawns.
  • If you are not a fish lover, the marinade will work with chicken breast or thighs, pork tenderloin or steak. These meats will need to marinate for longer than thirty minutes, anywhere from 4 - 8 hours, depending on the cut of meat.
  • I prefer to marinate the fish, or meat, before placing it onto the skewers as this increases the exposure to the flavours in the marinade. You can skewer the fish first and then place it into the marinade. This option is great for skewers that will be frozen in the marinade before being grilled...defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then grill them.
  • Other fruits that make good marinades are papaya, kiwifruit, passionfruit, pineapple or persimmon. Papaya and kiwifruit contain an acid that breaks the meat protein down very quickly, so if you choose these as your marinade, decrease the amount of time the fish spends in the marinade.
  • The amount of sriracha I used added a hint of heat in the background, but can quite easily be increased to suit your taste. I would probably use more next time.
  • The marinade that was not used for the fish can be saved and used as a sauce. It can also be frozen, which I did, to be used for another meal. I also froze the rest of the can of coconut milk that I opened for this dish.

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