African Smoke Tilapia Salad

In Global Lifestyle by Lisa Soldo-JohnsonLeave a Comment

As a food writer, the idea of global cooking and unique flavors from all over the world consumes my interest in so many ways. If you are open-minded enough, once you get a taste of food from the perspective of another culture, the beautiful doorway to all 10,000 taste buds begin to open and a new experience awaits you on the other side.

Unfortunately, one of the countries not covered in my upcoming cookbook is Africa. I do hope to include that country in my next book because there are so many wonderfully distinct flavors this culture has to offer that are missing in the international isle of the grocery store.

Luckily for me, a few years back, Trader Joe’s came out with a new private label spice called South African Smoke. Since I am a huge sucker for a new spice, I just had to try it, and I am so glad I did! One taste of this magical combination of smoked paprika blended with sea salt, garlic and basil packaged in a grinder, and the possibilities for new recipes ideas exploded in my head. They say, good things never last and in the case of this spice, they were right. Since Trader Joe’s specialized in a limited amount of private label spices, this spice is only sold in their stores from August until it is sold out. Urg, seriously? However, you can order it online here and even though it’s quite a bit higher online, trust me, it’s totally worth it!

Print Recipe
Mandarin Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette & African Smoke Tilapia Yum
The combination of the smoke-flavored fish combined with the juicy sweetness of the oranges and zesty dressing make every bite just delicious. Substitute the Tilapia with Salmon for an entirely new flavor experience.
Cilantro Vinaigrette
Cilantro Vinaigrette
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line broiling pan or baking sheet with tin foil, spray with cooking spray and lay tilapia on the foil with room on the sides of each fish. Drizzle olive oil over fish, sprinkle with sea salt and South African Smoke to lightly coat the fish (add more if you like more seasoning).
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is white and flaky. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cilantro Vinaigrette
  1. In small blender, add vinegar, cilantro, onions, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Process on high 20 seconds.
  2. Pour liquid into small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil until smooth.
  1. Place lettuce and oranges in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently. Separate salad onto serving plates and place a piece of tilapia on each salad before serving.
Recipe Notes

Recipe Notes:

  • If you like it hot, you can add a little spice to the dish by lightly sautéing sliced Jalapeno peppers and a sprinkle of salt in olive oil and placing them on top of the fish for an extra kick.

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