Most anglers love to fry their fish, and they can’t be blamed for it—especially in the heart of winter when fried crappie, perch, and walleye from the fishhouse serve as one of nature’s most effective comfort foods. But fried fish can get boring (and even start to feel unhealthy) after that 20th fillet. The next time you fry your fish and are experiencing mid-winter ennui, consider serving the fish with fresh mango salsa as a topping. (No, not all salsas have tomatoes in them!) Your fried fish meal may quickly become a gourmet meal.
The following salsa incorporates mango (which can be substituted with peach), avocado, maple syrup, lime juice and cilantro. It provides a mildly crunchy, sweet-sour counterpoint against the oily exterior of your fish. I will assume, for the purposes of this recipe, that you already know how to fry your fish or can find a suitable method online. Down the road, we will revisit the issue of frying fish. I know some secrets that may revolutionize your results (e.g., try using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter!).
I dedicate this recipe to Steven Kmetz (my photographer and occasional ice fishing partner) and his girlfriend Laura. They were the very first people to try it, and their enthusiasm has caused me to want to share it with the world.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
5 teaspoons maple syrup
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground chili powder with a dash of cayenne
1 mango (or peach), peeled and cut into small cubes (@ 1 cubic centimeter)
¾ avocado, peeled and cut into small cubes (@ 1 cubic centimeter)
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
Directions: In a medium-sized bowl, beat the olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and chili powder until it emulsifies (holds together). Add the mango, avocado, and cilantro, and mix gently by hand or with a wooden spoon. Adjust salt, as needed. Spoon atop fried fish.
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