Tilapia is a very attractive fish and delightfully self-contained – each one makes a perfect serving for one person and the exotic fruit salsa accompanying it makes the whole thing a very bright, colourful meal.
4 tilapia, weighing 12-14 oz (350-400 g) each
1 small mango, ripe but firm-fleshed
1 small pawpaw, ripe but firm-fleshed
1 x 15 g pack fresh coriander
olive oil for brushing
1 fresh red or green chilli
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 lime, cut into quarters
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need a solid 16 x 14 inch (40 x 35 cm) baking tray lined with foil, or a shallow dish (both should be lightly brushed with olive oil).
There are two ways to do this: you can either make the salsa a couple of hours ahead – then just cook the fish – or make the salsa while the fish is cooking.
Either way, when you're ready to cook the fish, begin by seasoning the inside of each fish with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of coriander into each one. Now make 3 diagonal cuts across each one, then cut a lime into 6 slices, cut the slices in half and tuck a half slice into each slit. Now brush the fish with oil, lay them on the baking sheet and place on a high shelf in the oven for 15 minutes.
To make the salsa, pare off the skin of the mango and cut either side of the stone to remove the flesh, then slice and cut into small dice. Cut off the bits clinging round the stone and chop them. Then halve the pawpaw, scoop out the pips and cut each half into slices, lay the slices flat and cut the skin away and chop them into dice. Place the fruit in a bowl then add the grated zest and juice of 1 lime and the rest of the coriander leaves chopped small. Finally, deseed and chop the chilli minutely small, add this and toss the whole lot together.
Serve the fish with the salsa handed round separately and the lime quarters to squeeze over. The little bits of toasted lime tucked in taste good, too!
_This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Guide to Fish Cookery)._