Thai Meets Latin: Crunchy Tilapia Over Mango-Cilantro Salad

By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

Cilantro & mango tilapiaCilantro & mango tilapia

Mi hermanita chiquita Lina just came back from a tai-chi retreat in Thailand. I was very intrigued to learn about her trip, but most of all I wanted to know about her culinary experience. She finally invited me over to talk about her travels and made something for lunch I never imagined putting together. While we talked in the kitchen, she fixed a leafless salad that to me looked very Latin. She put together cilantro, ripe mango and red onions with salt and dressed the dish with lime and olive oil. The colorful blend of ingredients was beautiful and very appetizing. The contrast between the sweetness of the ripe mango, the acidity of the lime, the aroma of the cilantro and the crunchiness of the onions was absolutely perfect.

My sister also showed me a little trick to cut down on the strong onion flavor. Before mixing it with the salad, she soaked the slices in warm water for a minute and then dumped them in an ice bath to maintain their crunchiness. She dried the onions well with a paper towel and then added them to the mix. She topped the finished salad with slightly battered tilapia filets. The combination was amazing! I enjoyed every bite of this dish and have already incorporated the recipe into my list of favorite dinner ideas. Besides, I was surprised to see how similar cuisines can exist in different parts of the world; how Latin ingredients have so much in common with southeast Asian food preparations. The truth is food is not only a daily necessity- it's an universal dose of happiness that brings us closer together.

Now, ¡a comer!Cilantro & mango tilapiaCilantro & mango tilapia

Mango and Cilantro Salad

(2 servings)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ripe mango, chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 limes, juiced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a bowl, mix the cilantro, mango, onion, lime juice, salt and olive oil. Serve in a bowl as a side dish, or place a layer of the salad on a plate to make a bed for your crunchy tilapia (see recipe below).

Enjoy this meal with my refreshing "Passionada"Cilantro & mango tilapiaCilantro & mango tilapia

Crunchy Tilapia


1 egg
Salt to taste
2 tilapia filets
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Beat one egg with salt and submerge the tilapia filets in the mix. Next, gently place the tilapia on a bed of breadcrumbs, and cover the filets lightly with the crumbs. Preheat the vegetable oil in a pan at medium heat. Add the tilapia filets and let them cook on each side for 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain for a a few seconds. Serve them on top of the mango salad.

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