Cajun Salmon with Mango and Cucumber Salsa

Cajun Salmon with Mango and Cucumber Salsa

by Chef Pedro Newton of Champers Wine Bar & Restaurant

This light fish dish is spiced to taste and served with traditional – and refreshing – lime-marinated cucumber reinvented as a cooling salsa.

— Photography: Kenneth Theysen

Chef   Pedro Newton  of   Champers Wine Bar & Restaurant

“I’m trying to retain the flavours of a Bajan pickle, which has lots of cucumber and coriander. At Champers we serve it with souse on Fridays and it’s a side dish for most of our meals”, says Chef Pedro, who was born and raised on Barbados. It’s a restaurant-worthy dish that’s quick and easy to make at home. “I love fresh seafood, so it’s something I’d prepare for myself.” When friends come to dinner, he adds a caper dressing and a hot pepper jelly, but the salmon also works well with steamed broccoli or asparagus, for when you want to keep it simple.

Cajun Salmon with Mango and Cucumber Salsa
Serves 4

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Juice of one orange
Juice of one lime
1 ripe, firm mango, fine diced
1 small cucumber, seeded and fine diced (not peeled)
Pinch scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon fresh coriander leaves
½ red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Cajun Spice Blend
2 tablespoons paprika
½ teaspoon chilli powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Salmon Marinade
Juice of ½ a lime
½ teaspoon chopped thyme
½ teaspoon chopped dill
Juice of half an orange
Pinch of coarse sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Four 3 oz. pieces of fresh salmon, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Combine the salsa ingredients and set aside.

  2. Combine the Cajun spice blend ingredients in a small bowl.

  3. Combine the ingredients for the salmon marinade in a medium bowl.

  4. Add the salmon pieces to the marinade and let marinate for 3 minutes.

  5. Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel.

  6. Sprinkle liberally with the Cajun spice blend.

  7. Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

  8. Sear salmon in hot pan for 1 minute on each side.

  9. Transfer to a preheated 350˚F oven for 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serve with grilled vegetables and a ramekin of salsa on the side. 

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Cajun Salmon with Mango and Cucumber Salsa Recipe - Champers Barbados
  1. You can add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or red wine to stretch out the marinade, says Chef Newton. “The fish doesn’t need to be submerged. You just need to get some of the essence of the marinade.”

  2. You can serve the salsa in a ramekin or directly on the plate for colour, or hollow out the end of a cucumber and fill it with salsa, for a restaurant-worthy presentation.

  3. Chef Newton says the dish is usually served with tartar sauce or caper sauce – tartar sauce with capers and onions instead of gherkins – or any other dressing you’d use to complement fish.

  4. To make the dish spicier, add a little more scotch bonnet or other hot pepper to the Cajun seasoning. To make the rub sweeter, add a sprinkle of confectioner sugar.

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