Sunday Dinners: Spice-Rubbed Tilapia with “Papango” Salsa

6 Sep

The first question I expect you’re asking is, “What the hell is papango salsa?” Good question. Glad you asked!
I found a recipe for tilapia with mango salsa and while it sounded delicious, I thought it could be even better with a little more sweetness from a papaya. Thus, papango salsa was born.

On with the recipe…

Serves 2.


2 tilapia filets
3 ts chili powder
3 ts cumin
2 ts oregano
1 ts kosher salt
1 ts pepper
2 ts olive oil
1 small mango, diced
1/2 papaya, diced
1/2 orange or red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime (juice)
dash salt & pepper



1. Combine the mango, papaya, pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice salt & pepper and set aside for the flavors to mix. *Note: if you make the salsa more than an hour ahead of dinner, do not add the salt. It will pull out a lot of the moisture in the fruit and the salsa will be watery. Instead, add it before you start cooking the fish.


1. In a bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper. Taste and adjust to taste, if desired.
2. Coat the fish in the seasoning evenly. (A fork works really well for sprinkling the seasoning evenly if you don’t want to use your fingers.)
3.Heat up olive oil in a large pan to medium high.
4. Add the fish to the pan and cook for 3 minutes per side.
5. When the fish is cooked through, plate and top with salsa.


4 Responses to “Sunday Dinners: Spice-Rubbed Tilapia with “Papango” Salsa”

  1. Mary September 6, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    I like reading your blog… I’d love to read about a vegetarian dinner 🙂

    • failingtherorschachtest September 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

      Thanks, Mary!
      I’ll definitely take that into consideration and will try some out!

  2. Sarah (@simplycooked) March 16, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Oh, yum, this sounds delicious. I love fruit with fish (though my husband doesn’t, so I make it when he’s not around!). Papaya and mango are a dream team, aren’t they?

    • foodNURD March 16, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Definitely. I love pairing salsas (pineapple, mango, papaya, peppers…) with fish. They bring such a nice, bright flavour to the dish!

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