Caribbean Salmon with Mango-Veggie Salsa & Guava Barbecue Sauce
This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. In fact, there was a year when my friends would come over for dinner and say, “I bet I know what we’re eating for dinner!” If you need to feed a lot of people relatively inexpensively, then this is your dish. Mango-veggie salsa makes a bed for the fish, creating a beautiful presentation as well as a built-in side dish. With some rice on the side, you have everything you need for an excellent “ooh” and “aah” kind of meal. If you don’t have time to make the barbecue sauce, stir ½ cup of guaba jam or jelly into 1 ½ cups of your favorite brand of barbecue sauce.
For the barbecue sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 8 ounces guava paste, cut into chunks
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 whole star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
For the salsa
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus extra for greasing the baking dish
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes), plus 2 limes cut into wedges for serving
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 mangoes, peeled, fruit cut off of the seed and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, halved, seeded, and finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, halved, seeded and finely diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, halved, seeded and finely diced
- 1 large red onion, halved and finely chopped
- 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 whole side of salmon, 3 1/2 to 4-pounds
To make the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until they’re soft and a little brown around the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the guava paste, tomato paste, vinegar, star anise, allspice, and curry powder. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the guava paste has melted, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool slightly. Whisk in the lime juice and rum. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To make the salsa, whisk the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the mangos, bell peppers, red onions, chile (if using), and cilantro and toss to coat. Add the beans and gently toss everything together.
Heat your broiler to high. Line a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of aluminum foil and grease the foil with some olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Place the salmon in the prepared baking dish and tuck about 2 inches of the tail end under the fish, so you have a somewhat uniform shape. Pour the barbecue sauce over the salmon and cook it under the broiler until the sauce caramelizes and chars around the edges and the salmon is firm and flakes easily, 8 to 12 minutes for rare (the salmon will still be pink in the middle) or 12 to 15 minutes for well done (the salmon will be cooked throughout).
- Spread the salsa on the serving platter and carefully lift the salmon out of the baking dish and arrange it on top of the salsa (use 2 large spatulas to transfer it). Squeeze a few lime wedges over the fish and serve with additional lime wedges on the side.