I am so excited to share this recipe with you – even more excited than usual! Is your mouthwatering at the title – Orange Mango Braised Fish with Lime Coconut Quinoa? Doesn’t that sound amazing? Doesn’t it sound like something you’d want to eat while sitting at a beachside restaurant on a warm, breezy night? That’s totally the feeling I was going for here. A few weeks ago Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice contacted me about partnering with them to create a unique recipe using one of their award-winning juices. I hopped over and took a look at the Natalie’s website to read more about the company. I was really impressed with what I read about the company and their dedication to providing an extraordinary product. I decided I needed to try this juice as soon as possible, so I readily said I’d love to work with them.
Natalie’s sent me samples of all of their juices to try. And that has been amazingly fun. Imagine you’re my kids and you come home from school, open the fridge to get a snack, and there are a bazillion bottles of citrus juice staring back at you. We have all been in heaven!
Before I get to the recipe, I want to give you a little background info on Natalie’s because I love their story! The Sexton family lives in Florida. They are fourth generation citrus farmers. For sometime, the family had been wanting to sell juice squeezed fresh from the fruit in their citrus groves, but there just wasn’t enough time to make it happen. Marygrace Sexton decided to make her husband’s dream a reality. She named the company after her daughter, Natalie. Today the company is run by Marygrace and her daughters. (Hooray for women-owned businesses!) They produce numerous varieties of juice that are sold in 30 U.S. states and 24 countries worldwide.
(Click through for the recipe and to hear more about Natalie’s Orchid Island juices!)
The juice is squeezed fresh from hand selected ripe Florida citrus and flash pasteurized at the minimum temperature so it retains all of the flavor and freshness. The only ingredient in the juices is fresh juice. No water or preservatives, “natural flavors,” or any other hidden ingredients – just 100% juice. (The pineapple, mango, and strawberry varieties are blended with 100% fruit puree.) My family and I were completely blown away – every sip was like biting into a piece of juicy, fresh fruit. I am particularly fond of the grapefruit juice, which I did not share with anyone. (Ahem.)
As I thought about what I wanted to make with the juice, I knew it would be so easy to make a delicious dessert or refreshing drink, but instead I wanted to highlight one of the juice in a savory recipe. I thought about doing a marinade, but instead the idea of braising came to mind. Braising is cooking food (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) in a small amount of liquid, in a covered pan or pot. The result is a very flavorful dish. Sometimes the braising process can take hours, but with fish cooking time is very short. In around 30 minutes, start to finish, you can have a flavorful, healthy meal on the table.
I decided to use the Orange Mango Juice because I wanted to add a little bit of a tropical element and natural sweetness to the braising liquid. (Orange Pineapple would work too.) The juice is so good on its own that I decided to keep the recipe as simple as possible. All I did was add a few sliced green onions, minced jalapeño and garlic. The braising liquid should be as flavorful as possible. As I was testing out this recipe, I found that reducing the juice a little at the beginning to concentrate the flavors was the way to go, rather than reducing it afterwards. When braising fish, it’s important to not use too much liquid at the beginning because the fish will release a little water as it cooks. I wanted there to be plenty of the delicious sauce to drizzle over the fish and the lime coconut quinoa. It only takes about 10 minutes in a covered pan for the fish to cook through. The fish stays incredibly tender and moist, and is nicely infused with all of those good flavors.
The quinoa is spectacular too, by the way. I don’t know why I have never thought to prepare it this way! The Natalie’s Lime Juice adds a nice tang to offset the creaminess of the coconut milk. I used light coconut milk here. If you can’t find light, use half as much full-fat coconut milk and add enough water to make up the difference.
To serve, I only added a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a few more sliced green onions. It goes great with a green salad, but would be good served with steamed fresh veggies too.
p.s. As I was testing this out, I also tried braising a pound of wild-caught shrimp. AMAZING. You know, in case you wanted to go that route instead of fish. :)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- 1 large jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs to make it less spicy)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ cup Natalie's Mango Orange Juice
- Sea salt, to taste
- 4 (5-6 ounce) pieces of wild-caught mild flavored fish, such as mahi-mahi, red snapper, cod, or halibut
- For coconut quinoa:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well*
- One 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons Natalie's Pure Lime Juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- For garnish:
- Fresh cilantro sprigs
- Sliced green onions
- For coconut quinoa - place the rinsed quinoa, coconut milk, water, lime juice, and sea salt in a 3-quart pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, place lid on top, then lower the heat a bit so it doesn't boil over. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is cooked through.
- For the fish - heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and allow it to melt. Add the green onions and jalapeño. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add the Natalie's Mango Orange Juice and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and let the juice cook until it thickens a little bit, about 5-10 minutes.
- Season the fish on both sides with sea salt. Lay the fish in the pan, cover with a lid, and let cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. Thicker pieces of fish may take longer.
- To serve - divide the quinoa between four plates. Place a piece of fish on top of each one and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve with steamed veggies or a green salad.
- *Rinsing the quinoa in water helps remove the natural bitter saponin coating.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by and the recipe created for Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are 100% my own.