This meal was the outcome of a flawed plan to have Fish Tacos for dinner, when I forgot to buy the tortilla wraps! The result has become one of our favourites, is still low in calories, absolutely delicious and really quick to prepare..
First prepare the mango salsa so that the flavors can develop for a few minutes while the rest of the meal comes together.
Peel a small mango and dice it into quite small cubes. Dice some red pepper into similar sized cubes. Very finely chop some red onion… you can use more onion if you particularly enjoy the taste of fresh onion, but I don’t like it to be too strong. This amount is just enough to give the flavour but not overwhelm. Next finely chop the fresh coriander/cilantro, stalks and all.
Mix it all together in a bowl. Add the juice of a fresh lime. Add a generous twist of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and leave to marinate.
Now prepare the fish. Use kitchen paper to pat the fillets really nice and dry. Generously dust Cajun spice on one side only, pressing gently to help the spices stick to the fish. My absolute favourite is the Bart’s Blend which you can find here.
The last element is the rice. I usually cook basmati rice, often have portions bagged in the freezer that can be quickly microwaved, or sometimes even use the 2-minute microwave pouches if I’m being lazy. Whatever you choose, you’ll need it hot and ready to eat in about 8 minutes from now…
Heat a non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Once hot, place the fish spice side down into the pan (no oil needed unless your pan’s not non-stick – if so, then a very light spray of olive oil at most). Press down gently to get good contact with the base of the pan for a nice sear. After a minute, reduce the heat to medium high and cover to allow the heat to circulate. Important note… condensation will collect under the lid – you need to wipe it off several times. If you don’t, the water will drip into the pan and start to poach the fish making it soggy.
After 3 minutes or so, gently turn the fish fillets to cook the other side. Repeat the trick with the lid… after around 7-8 minutes in total depending on the thickness of the fish, it will be cooked through; nicely moist in the center and crisp at the thinner edges.
Now all you need to do is plate up. Spoon the basmati rice onto 2 plates, place a fillet atop each pile of rice, then divide the salsa over the two fillets and serve immediately.
RECIPE: Cajun spiced tilapia with Rice and Mango Salsa 385cals
Serves 2. You will need a non-stick frying pan, and two servings of basmati rice.
- ½ a fresh mango, diced small (about 100g)
- ⅓ a fresh red pepper, diced small. (about 50g)
- Approx 1 inch slice of red onion, finely chopped. (about 10g)
- A handful of fresh cilantro (leaves and stalks) finely chopped (about 6g)
- Juice of 1 fresh lime.
Put all the above in a bowl, mix well, add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave to marinate while you do the rest.
- 2 fillets of tilapia, or any firm white fish (approx. 200g per fillet)
- Cajun seasoning (Bart’s is my fave)
- Dry the fish with kitchen paper/paper towel.
- Generously dust one side with Cajun seasoning, press gently to help it stick.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium hot, then place fish in the pan, spice-side down and press for a moment or two to get good contact with the heat. Leave on a medium heat and cover for 2-3 minutes to help cook through. Tip: every now and again, dry the condensation off the lid with paper towel to stop it making the fish soggy.
- Turn carefully and repeat on the other side. Should only take 7-8mins to cook through, depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Ps. If your pan isn’t non-stick you’ll need a very light spray of olive oil.
- To assemble the meal, spoon the basmati rice onto two plates, top each pile of rice with a fillet of fish, then spoon the salsa over the fish. Serve immediately.