Fried Fish Cheeks with Mango Salsa

Oh my god!   Does this look like a summer meal?   Good.  Not my fault, the ingredients were in the market.  Succulent monk fish cheeks, mangos and red onions.  Lunch-able.  Turn up the thermostat and pretend.

I don’t really like mangoes but I like them in salsa.

Fried Fish Cheeks and Mango Salsa

2 mangoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper

1 lb white fish cheeks

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Peanut oil for frying

Mix together the mango, cilantro, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper and refrigerate.

Beat the milk and egg together and set aside.  Mix together the flour, bread crumbs, paprika, salt and pepper.

Dip the fish cheeks in the milk, coat with the flour mixture and fry until golden brown.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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21 Responses to Fried Fish Cheeks with Mango Salsa

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    Monk cheeks are so difficult to get here. They are totally undervalued. They are a wonderful part of the fish. I love the combination with the mango and onion too. I have found that I can recognise your posts by the image only. I think it is the light. Your shots are always so beautifully lit with natural light. I struggle with a mix of natural, domestic halogens and, when I am feeling brave, the studio lights from the office. As ever, a lovely post,

  2. Did you buy the cheeks separately from the heads? I was given some heads once in the market, but there didn’t seem to be much on them once they’d been cooked. The mango salsa looks and sounds wonderful.

  3. Hi. The fishmonger has them from time to time, already detached from the fish and beautifully cleaned. Lucky me!

  4. I’ve always thought of doing this, but never got around to it.The main ingredient reminds me of my amazement at a Chinese dish of fish lips and ducks’ feet.

  5. Oh fish chheeks, delicious! I’ve not had monk fish cheeks, but have had cod cheeks. I’ll have the salad too 🙂

  6. Jon says:

    Beautiful shots. I love fish cheeks,cod, monkfish and even from bigger snappers and groupers. Try them with a Basque green sauce (salsa koskera), just a simple emulsion of sauteed garlic in olive oil with some flour and then some white wine, fish stock and lots of finely chopped parsely (salt and pepper of course).

    • Jon, could I have the complete recipe for the Basque sauce? Sounds like something I want to do!

      • Jon says:

        Sure thing. I make mine in a spanish cazuela, one of those oven-proof glazed earthenware vessels. In any case, chop 5-6 cloves of garlic, gently saute in a generous pool of olive oil (1/4 cup maybe) and when soft add a tablespoon of flour. Cook a minute or so and add half a glass of white wine, stirring so it won’t seize up. Then continue adding about half a liter of fumet (like a court bouillon without vinegar, fish heads, bones, carrot, parsely, onion, leek, peppercorns and salt simmered in water for 20-30 minutes and strained) a little bit at a time. It’s like making a velouté. Add a half a cup of chopped parsely and add salt and pepper. You could either use this to sauce the fried fish cheeks, or alternatively add the fish cheeks in the prepared sauce and bake or cook on the stovetop. Traditionally you would add a few poached eggs, some clams or mussels and white asparagus to finish the dish.

    • Thanks for the recipe Jon. I’m putting it on my to do list

  7. I shall have to pop to the fishmonger and get some cheeks – I’ve always loved them, when I’ve had them. It does look like a summer dish, but who cares? If the ingredients are readily available during the winter, does it really matter?

  8. winsomebella says:


  9. Wow summers here! This lovely plate of food is a ray of summer sunshine in the depths of winter, but perfect for this time of year when we’re looking to shake up what we eat with something a little lighter and livelier, mouth-watering pics as usual.

  10. I’ve never thought of asking my fishmonger for just the cheeks. That is pretty awesome. They look perfectly cooked too. I have to try this!

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  12. Just perfect. I love mango salsa and the whole meal sounds fantastic.

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