This quick and easy grilled salmon is kissed with lime and chili pepper, then topped with a cool, refreshing, colorful, and utterly delicious cucumber mango salsa. It’s okay. Go ahead and do a happy dance—you just won summer!
For the salmon:
- 4 (6 ounce) salmon portions, skin on
- Zest from 1 lime
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper or chili powder
For the cucumber salsa:
- 1 (5- to 6-inch) cucumber
- 1 mango
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- Juice from half a lime
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Prepare the grill: Make sure your grill grates are clean. Have your grilling spatula, tongs and a clean platter or plate by the grill. Set up a two-zone grilling method, with one side of the grill hotter than the other.
If using gas, set the burners on one side at medium-high heat, and the other on medium.
For charcoal, pile the briquettes higher on one side than the other but make sure you still have about 3 inches of space between the briquettes and the grill grates.
2 Prepare the salmon: In a small bowl, combine lime zest and juice from half of the lime, salt, olive oil, and chili pepper. Brush some oil on the skin side of the salmon. Then brush the lime mixture on the flesh side of the salmon. Make sure the zest is evenly distributed. Set it in the fridge while you prepare the salsa.
3 Make the salsa: Peel the cucumber, then slice it in half lengthwise. You should have two, long half-moon shaped cucumbers. Use a spoon and drag it from one end of the cucumber to the other to remove the seeds. Place the cucumber flat side down, and cut into thin strips about the width of a pencil, then cross-cut them into small dice.
For the mango, peel and slice the halves off from the center seed, cut into thin strips, then cross-cut into small dice. Add the cucumber and mango to a medium bowl, then add the cilantro, red onion, juice from the remaining half lime, minced garlic clove, jalapeño pepper, and salt. Toss to combine.
4 Grill the salmon: Use grilling tongs, dip a wad of folded paper towels in vegetable oil. Rub it on the grill grates, both the hot and cooler sides. Place the salmon on the hot side of the grill flesh side down, and skin side to the sky. Close the lid and cook the salmon for 1-3 minutes, depending on how thick your fillets are.
Lift the lid, and, using tongs and spatula, carefully slide the spatula under the salmon while holding it with the tongs and place the salmon skin-side down on the cooler side of the grill. Grill for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick your fillets are. Salmon should flake easily and be slightly opaque in the center.
5 Top with salsa and serve: Transfer the salmon to the clean platter, give the pico a quick stir, and spoon some over each portion.