Spice-rubbed salmon with mango salsa

I got so many requests for this recipe so here it is!  This is a super easy and tasty meal for those hectic weeknights–now if I can just get Souper Boy to like salmon we’d be all set!

1 1/4 lb. salmon fillet, cut into four equal pieces
spice rub (1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

3 Marathon (or Ataulfo or similar) mangoes, pitted and cut into 1 cm cubes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parlsey
4 tablespoons nuoc cham

3/4 lb. baby bok choy, trimmed, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
1 teaspoon oyster sauce, or a few pinches of salt
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons canola oil

Spice mix: In a small bowl, mix together cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne.  Feel free to add any other spices that you like–ground cloves, red pepper flakes, etc.  This kind of spice mix is excellent on fish, chicken, shrimp, and even pork chops.  You will have plenty leftover, so save it in a small jar and it’ll be handy for next time.

Mango salsa: In a bowl, combine mangoes, red onions, cilantro/parsley, and nuoc cham. Mix to combine.  If you don’t have any nuoc cham on hand–which I strongly suggest you do–use  1/3 teaspoon minced garlic, one minced thai bird chili pepper, juice of half a lime  and 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce.  Adjust as necessary.  Set salsa aside while you prepare the fish.

(Tip: For nice uniform cubes, hold mango stem side up on a cutting board, place knife blad about 1/4 inch from stem and slice off half mango, cutting as close to the pit as possible.  Using a small paring knife, score the mango half without cutting through the skin.  Then use a spoon to scoop out the mango cubes.  Repeat with the other half of the mango.  Oh, and don’t forget to gnaw on the leftover pit–it’s the best part!)

Salmon: Preheat oven to 400F. Season fillets with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkling of the spice mix.   Heat olive oil in an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat until quite hot, sear salmon skin-side up first for 4-5 minutes, flip fillets and then pop the whole pan in the oven for 5-6 minutes.

Greens:  While fish is cooking, heat oil in a wok until smoking, add garlic and stir for 10-15 seconds.  Add baby bok choy and stir fry until bright green, then add water and salt/oyster sauce.  Stir fry for another 30 seconds. As always, feel free to substitute a different vegetable, spinach would also work but don’t use the oyster sauce.

Serve salmon and bok choy with jasmine rice, generously spooning the mango salsa over the fish.  Pairs lovely with a cold Vouvray or Muscadet. Makes four servings.

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