The next time you find a really good fish fillet, consider this scrumptious and quick spiced baked fish with avocado salsa. The spice rub adds flavor without overwhelming the fish, and the salsa makes it a company dinner.
One of the best parts of living in Hawaii is the fresh fish. Local people insist on fish being fresh enough to eat raw. You can find fish whole or beautifully filleted, whether you are shopping at a good fish shop like Tamashiro Market or Costco’s meat department. This fillet of Monchong was from Costco, and it’s beautiful with no fishy aroma.
What is Monchong?
Monchong is also called pomfret, and was once discarded as bycatch when fishing for ahi tuna. Now it’s gotten very popular on its own merit. It’s a good source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, according to Hawaii Seafood.org (https://www.hawaii-seafood.org/). Monchong is firm enough to grill but we don’t have a grill so we bake it!
Monchong is a mild fish that is slightly pink when raw but cooks to a whitish color. We like our fish very slightly underdone in the middle, though not quite raw, but you can cook it to your liking. Because of its oil content, it is unlikely to dry out like some fish will.
What other fish are good in this recipe?
If monchong is not available near you, try halibut, snapper or flounder – or even opah. Adjust the cooking time according to how thick the pieces of fish are.
The key to this recipe is the spice rub’s delicious, yet not overwhelming flavor, and the fresh avocado salsa. I adapted this recipe from this one – and it came out the way you’d want a dish to taste at a good restaurant, plus it’s just beautiful. The sauce caramelizes just a little – yum!
Marinate before baking
Like other white fish, because monchong is so mild, it benefits from a marinating period. The amount of time you marinate is just about as long as it takes the fish to come to room temperature before you bake it. Make the salsa while you are baking the fish and this becomes a very quick and tasty dinner.
Serve with extra avocado salsa on the side, plus lime or lemon wedges. We enjoyed our fish and salsa with brown rice and plan to eat it with quinoa next time.
If you make this paleo and gluten-free recipe, please leave me a comment so that I know how it went!
Other fish recipes you may enjoy
Shop spiced baked fish with avocado salsa
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The next time you find a really good fish fillet like the monchong we enjoyed here, consider baking it with this scrumptious and quick spice rub and topping with avocado salsa. The spice rub adds flavor without overwhelming the fish, and the salsa makes it a company dinner.
- 1 pound monchong fillet (or similar fish such as halibut, flounder or snapper)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 avocados, seeded, peeled, and diced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1–2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3–4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- pink sea salt to taste, about ½ teaspoon
- Place the monchong fillet on parchment or a silicone liner on a baking sheet, skin side up, if it has skin.
- In a small bowl, stir together garlic powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, honey, and olive oil.
- Rub a little bit of the seasoning blend on the skin side of the monchong, then flip it over so that the flesh side of the fish is up. Rub the rest of the seasoning blend onto the fish.
- Allow to marinate for 15 minutes, while the fish comes to room temperature and you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the flesh flakes with a fork. The amount of time will depend on the thickness of your fillet and how soft you want the inside to be.
- To make the salsa while the fish is baking, in a small bowl combine avocado, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, red onion, and salt to taste.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the fish to a platter or serve from the baking pan (our lazy preference).
- Top the monchong with avocado salsa and garnish with extra cilantro. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.
Bringing the fish to room temperature before baking will ensure that the fish will bake evenly.
Thanks for the recipe inspiration from this site
Keywords: spiced baked fish, baked monchong, fish with avocado salsa, fish with spice rub, gluten-free baked fish, dairy-free recipe
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