Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Opah with Mango-Avocado Salsa

I recently went to Maui.

One of my favorite activities was trying new fish, like gorgeous thick cuts of Mahi Mahi (who knew it came in versions other than thin, boring fillets?), Opakapaka, Walu, Hawaiian Butter Fish, Monchong, and Opah (aka Moonfish).

While they were all delicious, one of my favorite meals was this grilled opah with mango-avocado salsa.
Opah is a nice fish because although it has a fairly delicate, mild flavor, it is a sturdy fish, i.e. when you grill it, you don't have to worry that more of it will stick to the grill than will get on your plate.

I love making salsas for fish. One, they are so easy. Two, they are so delicious. And, three, they require no extra cooking, which during the summer is a must. All you have to do is let them sit there, and they will yum up on their own.

Here are the basics for this salsa: mangoes, avocado, a Serrano chili, orange, and parsley.
Please note, there is NO cilantro on this board. For those of us who feel like cilantro should be renamed 'soap-lantro', as so aptly put by a dear friend, parsley is a lovely substitute. It is fresh, zippy, a little lemony, and it does not taste like soap. (And for those cilantro-lovers out there, don't hate me for hating cilantro: it's genetic).

To prep the salsa: get your mango chopped up.
Next your avocado.
Since mangoes love orange, I think adding in some orange zest and orange juice is delightful. Now, you may want to also add some lemon juice, but that depends on how sweet your mangoes are and how acidic you like your salsas. This is entirely up to you.
Next, add in some finely chopped Serrano chili. Again, it is up to you whether you want to seed and vein it to reduce the heat.
Stir in some chopped parsley.
Add in a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Taste it, adjust it as you see fit, and you are done with the salsa.
For the fish, look at this gorgeous 1 2/3 pound fillet of Opah.
To grill it, add olive oil, salt, and pepper to both sides. Heat up your grill for 10 minutes on high, reduce the heat to medium-high and grill for 6 minutes on both sides. If you have a smaller cut, reduce the time to 4-5 minutes each side.
Lovely, no?

Cover it in mango salsa, serve it with a slice of lemon, and enjoy a taste of Maui!
Grilled Opah with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Mango-Avocado Salsa
2 Mangoes, chopped
1 Avocado, chopped
1-2 Serrano chilis or jalapenos, finely minced
1 orange
1 lemon (optional)
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper*

Add together the mangoes, avocado, chili, orange zest, juice from half an orange, lemon juice (if using), parsley, a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix together.

This salsa keeps for up to 1 day if covered in the refrigerator.

Grilled Opah
1 2/3 lb piece of opah
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Rub both sides of the fish with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Heat the grill to high for 10 minutes. Reduce to medium-high heat and add the opah. Grill for 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.**

Top with a generous portion of salsa and add a slice of lemon on the side.

*You can also add finely chopped red onion or finely minced garlic to this recipe.
**If using smaller cuts of opah, reduce grill time to 4-5 minutes per side

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