Fish Fillets with Avocado-Cilantro Salsa

Photo: Christina Holmes

Photo: Christina Holmes

4 servings

20 to 25 minutes

Grilled fish and fresh salsa is one of my favorite combinations. The salsas here and in the variations are slightly offbeat, with vibrant flavors and textures that perfectly complement the mild sweetness of the fish. When fillets still have their skin on—the thin kind that’s edible—all the better. The fire will crunch it up for even more contrast. Bass and salmon are both great choices to try. These salsas also pair great with seared sea scallops.


2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 ⁄ 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped red onion
Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
Salt and pepper
1 1 ⁄ 2 pounds fish fillets (preferably skin-on)
Good-quality olive oil for brushing the fish


1. Start the coals or heat a gas grill for hot direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.

2. Put the avocados, cilantro, onion, and lime juice in a small bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and gently toss to combine (take care not to mash the avocado). Taste and adjust the seasoning.

3. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels, then brush them with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

4. Put the fish on the grill (skin side down, if it has skin), perpendicular to the grate. Close the lid and cook until the bottoms brown and release easily,
3 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets over, using a second spatula to keep them from breaking apart. Close the lid and cook until a skewer or thin knife inserted at the thickest point of a fillet easily pierces it all the way through, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the fish and the thickness. Transfer the fish to a platter, top with the salsa, and serve.

Fish Fillets with Mango-Mint Salsa
So incredibly refreshing and still rich: Substitute mint for the cilantro and 1 large or 2 medium-sized ripe mangoes for the avocados. Peel, cut the flesh of the pit, and dice.

Fish Fillets with Papaya-Cilantro Salsa
Substitute 1 firm but ripe 12- to 16-ounce papaya for the avocados. Peel and seed before dicing.

Fish Fillets with Avocado-Tomato Salsa
Substitute basil for the cilantro and 1 fresh medium tomato for one of the avocados. Seed the tomato if you like; chop.

Recipe from How to Grill Everything