Barbecue Cajun-spiced Barramundi with Mango Salsa

Ask and you shall receive. I hosted an Instagram poll on my Jena’s Tiny Kitchen instagram account on whether people wanted to see this recipe on the blog. As of writing it had a 100% “yes” response, even if that 100% consists of only 8 people.

I had so much fun with this recipe because of how easy it is, and just mixing whatever felt right into the salsa.

I have to let everyone know that you do not need a barbecue for this to work. It just so happened that I went over to a friend’s house on Lamma the other day, specifically to have a barbecue. You can make this dish just as easily using an oven or a grill.

Using the spice mix that I rubbed on the fish, you can grill the fish until the spices blacken, much easier under a grill or on a specific fish-friendly grill plate over a barbecue. However, if you’re not certain about blackening the spices, then you can do it like I have here and cook it just enough for the spices to fuse into the fish and enjoy it like that.

The mango salsa is a great addition to the fish, as it really lifts up the spice from the spice rub and elevates the flavours to the next level. Plus, fruit salsas with seafood has always been a great combination.

I have to thank Feather and Bone on Gage Street for the amazing fillet of barramundi. It’s a fish I rarely use because it’s not always readily available and it can be expensive when you do find it. But this entire 700 gram fillet was affordable and enough to feed 4 – 5 people easily (we shared most of it between 3, and the rest was taken home for later).

I always enjoy visiting Lamma Island, as it has mostly independent shops, and because rent is cheaper the products are cheaper too. Not always though, because the products do have to come to the island solely by boat and carted through streets that have no cars. But the island has some cute veggie and fruit stalls and some well-stocked small supermarkets. It’s a great location for a day away from the hustle and bustle of HK island, and all of the people.

We didn’t pick the best day for a barebecue mind you, it was windy and cloudy, and by the time we had finished a thunder and lightning storm hit. Luckily we were all cleaned up and heading home before it started to rain. And between three of us, none of us extremely confident in our ability to start a charcoal-based braai (I was with South Africans), we were able to make a feast of barramundi, mango salsa, pesto pasta salad, cucumber and feta salad, lamb chops and grilled aubergine. Delicious. All washed down with shandies and cider. Perfect for a day off.

Ingredients

700 gram barramundi fillet (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 ripe mango
1/2 red onion
1/2 red pepper
1 red chilli
handful fresh coriander
1 small lime

  1. Get the barbecue lit and ready for cooking. If not using a barbecue, set the grill on high, or set your oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the herbs and spices in a bowl, mixing together well.
  3. Roughly chop the mango and red onion. De-seed the red pepper and chilli and roughly chop. Add everything to a bowl.
  4. Roughly chop the coriander and mix with the mango and peppers.
  5. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the mango salsa and combine everything well. Set aside.
  6. Pat dry the barramundi fillet with a paper towel. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the fish. Place on tin foil, wrap up and place on the barbecue for 15- 20 minutes until the fish flakes easily. If using the grill, do not wrap the fish, simply place it under the grill for 10 – 15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily, and the spices have started to char. If baking in the oven, wrap completely foil and cook for 20 minutes. If you want to blacken the spices, unwrap the foil after 15 minutes and allow the spices to char.
  7. Serve the fish and garnish with the mango salsa.

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