Grilled Salmon with Mango Barbecue Sauce
A sweet-spicy barbecue sauce made from tomatoes, fresh mango, jalapeño and cilantro adds delicious flavor to grilled salmon fillets. To keep the sugars in the fruit from burning on the grill, we thin a bit of the sauce with water for basting during cooking, then brush with the thick sauce during the last two minutes on the grill. The results – plenty of flavor and no burned, bitter sauce!
- 6 1-inch thick salmon fillets (about 2-1/4 lbs), skin removed
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, seeded and well drained
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Hot sauce to taste
- Place the diced tomatoes, mangoes, scallions, jalapeño, cilantro, vinegar, garlic and tomato paste in the work bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cool completely, about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
- While the sauce is cooling, preheat the grill and make a grilling tray large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer from aluminum foil. Spray with high-heat nonstick spray. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and arrange on the foil tray.
- Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the mango barbecue sauce in a small bowl and thin it with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Place the salmon on the grill and brush with the sauce mixture. Cover the grill, and cook the salmon for 6 minutes, basting with the thinned sauce two more times. Using a different brush, coat each fillet with the thick version of the barbecue sauce and cook for 2 additional minutes (8 minutes total), or until the salmon is barely opaque in the center.
- Plate and serve the salmon immediately. Put the remaining sauce on the table for dipping.
For this particular recipe, we prefer to remove the skin from the salmon fillets and grill them on aluminum foil, but you can leave the skin on and place them directly on the grill grates skin side down. If you do this, you may want to thin your basting sauce just a little more to minimize flare-ups, and cut your grilling time down by a half-minute or so. It all depends on the temperature of your individual grill, so use your best judgement.