The Lenten season is upon us! And tomorrow is the first Friday of Lent so a lot of you will be looking for loads of fantastic seafood recipes! I’ve got a really simple, really fresh and delicious fish recipe for you to add to your repertoire! Blackened Cod with Spicy Mango Salsa! This recipe makes a fish-lover out of even the most skeptical of seafood eaters.
Wild-caught versus Farm-raised
I’m sure you have all heard by now that fish is a great healthy source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, right? Well it is. That is, when you’re talking about wild caught fish. Farm-raised fish are fish that have been grown in tanks and enclosures in some pretty cramped living conditions. Because they live in such cramped quarters, they tend to contain more toxins, antibiotics (because they’re diseased from living in tight spaces so they need to be medicated) and artificial dyes (because…again…they’re sick…when you get sick you get pale, right? So do fish. So they inject dyes into them to make them look healthier). Any animal, when allowed to live in its’ natural environment, will be healthier. This includes fish! Wild caught fish are generally higher in omega 3 fatty acids. They’re generally free of antibiotics, pesticides and artificial dyes. So if you want to get all of the nutritional benefits of fish, go for wild caught!
But then, there’s the cost of wild-caught fish. Wild-caught fish will generally run you about three times the cost of farm-raised. Like everything else, the healthy stuff is more expensive. That’s one of the reasons this recipe is great! I’ve used cod, which is one of the cheapest types of fish you can buy. Cod is very similar to other firm, white fish varieties such as mahi mahi or halibut, but it costs much less. Where I get my fish, wild-caught mahi mahi is about $14.99 per filet, and wild caught halibut is about $15.99 per filet. In my opinion, $60 per meal for a family of four is just entirely too much. Save the halibut for a special occasion. Wild-caught cod, however, only costs me $4.99 per filet, which is definitely doable!
How can I make sure I’m getting the freshest fish?
For the most part, I get my fish frozen so that I can cook it when it’s convenient for me. There aren’t a whole lot of places to get fresh fish where I live, so frozen is a good option. However, if you do have a fresh fish market nearby and you can get fresh, go for it! So how can you be sure you’ll get the freshest fish? Here are a couple of tips!
- Get to know your fish monger! If you just ask your fish monger what variety is the freshest that day, they’re usually happy to tell you! So make a new friend in your fish guy. If you’re nice, he’ll usually filet it for you too:)
- Smell the fish! Fish that is fresh should not smell the least bit fishy! That’s right, no smell. The older it is, the fishier it will be.
- Gaze deeply into the fish’s eyes! Fresh fish will have clear eyes! They shouldn’t be cloudy! If they’re cloudy, put him back down.
Blackened Cod with Spicy Mango Salsa will work beautifully with any type of fish. You could put this salsa on shrimp or scallops, salmon or tilapia. Use whatever type of fish you like! I happen to love the mild taste and flaky texture of cod, so that’s what I use! Enjoy!
- 4 wild caught cod filets
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground chili powder
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp coconut oil- I love this kind.
- 1 ripe mango, diced
- ½ of a medium sized red onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- First prepare your mango salsa. Place diced mango, onion, bell pepper and jalapeno in a mixing bowl. Season liberally with sea salt and pepper.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the cilantro in and give it a mix.
- Let sit for at least 15 minutes, but it will only get better the longer it sits.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to. If your mango isn't quite ripe, you can add in a bit of honey to sweeten it up.
- For the fish, heat a large skillet over medium high heat on the stove top.
- Add the coconut oil to the pan and let it get screamin' hot!
- Season your fish on both sides with sea salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and coriander.
- When the oil is hot, place your filets in the pan and leave them alone! Don't try to move them. They will just break apart. If you leave them alone, they will form a crust and pull away from the pan on their own.
- Cook for 3 minutes on each side, no more! There's nothing worse than overcooked fish.
- Top the fish with the mango salsa.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite type of fish?
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.