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For Guys

Recipe Test: Blackened salmon and mango salsa


Serves 4

Cooking time: 40 minutes

4 x 200g-250g salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cajun Mix (to rub onto the salmon)
1 tablespoon ground sweet/mild paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (add more if you like it spicier)
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Mango and corn salsa
2 corn cobs, steamed and kernels removed
1 ripe mango, diced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper/capsicum, deseeded and finely chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 whole avocado, halved, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh calamansi lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup tightly packed coriander (also know as Chinese parsley) roughly chopped

Here’s what to do:

  1. Combine all Cajun mix ingredients on a flat plate or in a large bowl.

  2. Brush salmon with oil on both sides, coating well.

  3. Rub spice mixture all over salmon.

  4. Heat non-stick frying pan or BBQ on medium to high heat. 

  5. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for two minutes on each side for medium or slightly longer until cooked to your liking.

  6. Set aside for three minutes to rest.

  7. For the mango and corn salsa, combine corn, mango, spring onions, capsicum, tomato, avocado, celery, coriander and lime juice in a bowl.

  8. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Divide salmon among serving plates, top with salsa and serve immediately.


Name: Murray Campbell, 27
Nationality: South African
Chef Proficiency: “Braai Master”
Party Piece: Being South African, my signature style is “tanning a few chops” on the braai (barbecue) outside; in the kitchen, I normally keep it simple with a spaghetti bolognaise or chicken and cashew nut dish. My missus usually cooks.
The guinea pigs: My brother, who is visiting from the UK, and my girlfriend.

I managed to find most of the ingredients at FairPrice and Cold Storage. Although I couldn’t get cayenne pepper or calamansi limes, I improvised, substituting the lime juice with some freshly squeezed lemon juice. I added a bit of extra spices to make up for the cayenne pepper, including some chilli flakes we had in the kitchen cupboard. 

The prep work was easy and took about 20 minutes. The pieces of salmon I bought were quite thick which meant it took longer than I thought it would to cook through.

The meal went down really well, everyone enjoyed the contrasting flavours of the sweet mango and spicy salmon. Each item on its own was tasty and the combination worked well too.

I did get teased by my younger brother about the amount of rabbit food (veggies) that was on our plates, but my girlfriend was impressed.

I will definitely cook it again now that I have all the spices; the only thing I will change is to select thinner slices of salmon to help speed up the cooking time.