Mango Salsa on Halibut
Credit: Taz | sporkist on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

About 15 years ago, I clipped out a fabulous Bonnie Stern mango salsa recipe from the Toronto Star newspaper.

Immediately it appealed to me since it required no tomatoes. The tomatoes at my local grocery store - unless in season - well, suck.

Since I had some hot chili paste to use up, I tried 1/2 tsp. of it (instead of buying one jalapeno chili pepper). I left out the mint, since my local store doesn't always stock it.

What I love is you can add some leftovers to this salsa; I've added cherry tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers on occasion. Not only does this salsa taste great on meat (especially grilled chicken or fish) it works well as a substitute for regular salsa. It makes for an interesting tomato-free bruschetta if you add a little basil and perhaps some leftover red pepper.

Avocado Mango Salsa
Credit: fitkitchen on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attibution 2.0 Generic

What makes my salsa fast

1) Using hot chili paste instead of handling a medium hot chili. The Mayo Clinic recommends wearing gloves (rubber or plastic) when preparing hot peppers such as jalapenos because the oils in them can burn your skin and eyes.[1]

2) Mincing garlic and ginger on the same microplane grater/zester.

3) Skipping the mint (less to wash & chop finely - too much mint can ruin your salsa).

What makes my salsa fresh 

1) Know how to choose a fresh mango. (See 1 min video next for tips and how to cut a mango).

2) Buy fresh coriander (also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania[2]). Do not use culantro (which is also called long coriander or Mexican coriander[3]) since it has a much stronger leaf oil and intense scent. (Photos are shown after the video).

Smooth skin and a strong scent

Alphonso or Ataulfo (Yellow) mango

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro
Credit: Coqui the Chef on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Don't use culantro (shown below)

Eryngium foetidum | Culantro
Credit: Andrew Nguyen / Image on Wikipedia / copyright holder allows anyone to use this image for any purpose

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater RoseWrites 2014-03-20 5.0 0 5

Just makes life easier

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater
Amazon Price: $11.19 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 17, 2016)
If you are still using a box grater, you should try a microplane grater. It's faster, safer, and more hygienic. For mincing garlic and ginger I find this zester does the job in seconds. It's easy to clean (just rinse and place in your dishwasher). It's especially handy for grating hard cheeses and chocolate. NOTE: It doubles as a zester (so use it for mincing or for recipes requiring finely grated food). Hold on to the sleeve it comes with - it'll protect your fingers when you are fishing for it in a drawer and keep cutting surfaces sharp.

Fast & Fresh Mango Salsa recipe

Makes: 1.3 cups | Prep: 7 mins | Total: 9 mins


1 mango (ripe)

1/2 tsp. hot chili paste (be sure to use a paste and not a sauce or oil)

2 green onions OR 2 shallots (finely chopped)

3 tbsp. fresh coriander (chopped)

1 - 2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp. fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)

1 tbsp. lime juice (1 lime provides about 2 tbsp. worth)

1 tbsp. honey 

up to 1/4 tsp. salt 

Optional: 1/2 avocado, 1/4 red pepper, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber or a splash of triple sec - if you don't have enough lime juice


Wash, peel, and dice mango (as shown in video previously) add to medium bowl. Wash & chop green onions and coriander and toss lightly with diced mango in bowl.

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine hot chili paste, lime juice, and honey. Lastly, add minced garlic and ginger and mix well. Scrape into mango-onion-coriander mixture and blend well. 

Before adding any salt, taste your salsa first. Some chili pastes contain more salt than others.

Amore Hot Chili Pepper Paste 3.2 Ounce Tube

(I only wish it contained less salt).

Amore, Hot Chili Pepper Paste, 3.2 Ounce Tube RoseWrites 2014-03-20 4.5 0 5

Imported from Italy

Only 3 ingredients (omit salt in my recipe if using)

Amore Chili Pepper Paste, 3.2 Ounce Tube
Amazon Price: $5.52 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 17, 2016)
This is my favorite chili paste. A 3.2 ounce tube is about 19 teaspoons worth. It's fast and safe - just squeeze out the amount you need onto a measuring spoon (it's like toothpaste), cap it and refrigerate. No more worrying about whether you get any on your hands or in your eyes. Ingredients: Puglia-grown chili peppers, salt, and citric acid.
Allergy alert: Produced in a facility that also processes pine nuts, cashews, and anchovies.
Bonus: Includes some tasty recipes inside the box.