When I was shopping at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, I was about to grab my standard bag of frozen shrimp when it occurred to me that I have not been eating enough fish as of late. Crustaceans I’ve had aplenty. I’ve had chicken and steak and plenty of veggies; but no healthy, tasty fish! I suppose my regular tuna consumption could count, but that’s usually of the canned variety, which I use in salads and such. I felt it was high time to enjoy another type of fish that I could prepare in different ways, so I put down my bag of shrimp and picked up a couple of filets of mahi mahi instead.
I love most types of fish but find myself going back to mahi mahi and ahi tuna quite a bit. Their texture, flavor and versatility make them huge favorites of mine. TJ’s offers both pre-marinated and plain versions of each in their freezer section and they’re quite affordable ($4.99/lb to $5.99/lb). I had chosen some plain mahi mahi filets so that I’d have some more options on how to prepare it. For this particular dish, I decided to make a crispy mahi mahi, something I rarely do as I’m more fond of fish without any type of batter or crust. Enter the lovely panko crumb, a lighter way to get that tasty crunch everyone loves. And because it finally warmed up a bit this weekend, I decided a nice fresh fruit salsa or relish would be a great accompaniment to my crispy fish. With the great deal on fresh ripe mangos that Ms. Munchie and I had found last weekend, I knew they would definitely be a part of this new recipe.
A good fruit salsa or relish is always great to have on hand in the summertime because they offer a refreshing, sweet twist to seafood, chicken, and even pork dishes. Because the cooler weather held on for so long, I hadn’t been all that inspired to make a fruit relish ’til now. In fact, the last one I made – a cantaloupe-nectarine relish that went with some chicken; muy delicioso – was almost a year ago! Needless to say, it was high time for me to prepare a new one and instead of sticking to my usual mango salsa recipe, I decided to throw in some cool, crisp cucumber & red bell peppers to create a refreshing little relish. Combined with the crispy fish it was an absolutely delightful! Serve this with side of grilled veggies or a fresh salad, and you’ll have a healthy, inexpensive summertime dinner with very little effort.
Crispy Mahi Mahi with Mango-Cucumber Relish (serves 2-3; total cost per serving: ~$3.50)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c panko crumbs
1 T garlic salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T olive oil (gives the panko crumbs a light golden color when baked)
1 large mango, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 T honey
Juice of 3 key limes
Pinch of salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Prepare the relish by combining all the ingredients and mixing together well. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the fish.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a small rack lightly sprayed with cooking spray on the baking sheet (this will help prevent the fish from sticking and keep the fish crispy on both sides instead of becoming soggy on the bottom). In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs, garlic salt, pepper and olive oil and mix together well. Set out two dishes, one for the beaten eggs, the other for the seasoned panko crumbs. Pat dry the mahi mahi with paper towels. Dip each filet in the egg wash, then in the panko crumb mix. Press the crumbs into the fish so they adhere well. Place the panko-crusted filet on the prepared baking sheet and repeat. Bake on the top rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the panko crumbs are a light golden brown and the fish is tender & flaky. Top the fish with a generous amount of the mango-cucumber relish, serve with grilled veggies or a crisp salad, and enjoy!