Steamed sea bass, coconut, mango & corn salsa

This quick meal reminds me of a sizzling July and August spent travelling through Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Cuba. I pretty much survived on sweetcorn, mango and fresh coconut sold from street carts; and black beans, chilli and lime were present at most other meal times.

The mango, coconut and corn salsa sits next to sea bass, which is steamed with a grating of ginger and lime on top, and some warm cauliflower ‘couscous’, lifted and matched to the rest of the meal by coriander’s strong aroma.

All in all, it’s a relatively light but nourishing meal full of banging flavours. Something to cheer the palate, stomach and soul during this particularly dismal, grey month.

Steamed sea bass, coconut, mango & corn salsa

Serves 4

For the salsa

  • 200g mango, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 160g sweetcorn (from a tin is fine)
  • 160g black beans (cooked, drained weight – again, from a tin is fine)
  • 1 mild/medium red chilli
  • 1/2 small red onion, very finely diced
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of coriander, picked
  • 80g fresh coconut, sliced 2-3mm thick
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

For the cauliflower rice

  • 250g cauliflower 
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs coriander, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt
  • For the fish
  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 1 lime
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and finely grated

Put all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and mix well. Season to taste with a pinch of salt. A snack box of pre-diced coconut, is ideal; just cut each cube into thin slices. Otherwise, get involved with a hammer … or just add a handful of raw coconut flakes.

Place a saucepan of water on to boil for your steamer.

Prepare the cauliflower by blitzing 250g of fresh florets in a food processor until it resembles couscous. Put into a bowl and cover by 1cm with boiling water. Leave to warm for 2 minutes, then drain through a sieve. Transfer to a bowl, add a heavy pinch of salt and the chopped coriander. Mix.

Trim any scrappy bits from the sea bass fillets, then lay them, skin down on a piece of greaseproof paper that will fit in the steamer basket (you may need to use two baskets, one on top of the other, or to cook the fish in two batches). Spread the grated ginger over the flesh of the fish, then grate the zest of a lime over the top.

Pick up the paper and place in the baskets, then steam the fish with a lid on for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes; as soon as the fish’s flesh is opaque and firm, it’s cooked. You will be able to easily peel the skin off, if you wish. Season each fillet with a good squeeze of lime.

Serve up, filling bowls with equal amounts of salsa and cauliflower rice, with the steamed sea bass on top.