Pompano Fish Fillets with Tropical Fruit

Fish and tropical fruit are a wonderful combination. Whether the fish fillets are pan-fried or grilled, whether you use mango, bananas, pineapple or all three — it will be a beautiful dish that delights your eyes and taste buds.

This time of year, mangoes are still plentiful in our part of Mexico. Kents, Tommy Atkins, Ataulfo, and Criollos, the small, wild mangoes, abound. Each has its own flavor and texture, and each is incredible. The dilemma I face is how many different varieties can I eat in how many different preparations before the harvest ends. As if a surplus of mangoes is not enough, our bananas are starting to ripen. We have enough fresh fruit to feed a small army.

A newly cut bunch of platano macho bananas is hanging on our back patio. When ripe, they have a slightly acid, citrus-y flavor never found in a grocery store. While still too firm for fresh eating, the plantano macho, can be cooked like a plantain. This bunch produced particularly large bananas, as if needing to live up to their macho name, weighing three quarters of a pound apiece. I can’t eat a whole one by myself. It’s a good thing our dog Chucha likes bananas. She can eat a whole one.

Pompano with Tropical Fruit serves 4


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml.) olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml.) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ( 60 ml.) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon (60 ml.) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. (360 grams each) pompano fillets or any mild, white fish fillets
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml.) coconut oil or other mild oil
  • cooked rice

Tropical Fruit Sauce

  • 2 cups ( 480 ml.) sliced tropical fruit, using any combination of mangoes, banana and pineapple
  • 1 red or green Serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoon (60 ml.) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon (large pinch) each ground allspice and cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoon (60 ml.) chopped cilantro for garnish

Read recipe through  completely; assemble and prepare ingredients.

Mix marinade ingredients and marinate fish fillets for 20 minutes. Shake off excess marinade and pan fry fillets in hot coconut oil over medium heat. Allow about 8 minutes per inch of thickness (measuring thickest part of fillet), turning fillets over half-way through cooking.

While fillets are cooking, sauté fruit and serrano chile in butter about 5 minutes over medium heat. Do not allow to over-cook and become mushy. Gently stir in lime juice, allspice and cinnamon. Salt to taste.

Serve over Golden Rice cooked with turmeric. Spoon fruit over fish. Garnish with cilantro.


A responsible seafood vendor will help you make a selection that is  environmentally sustainable. Refer to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Guide (see Link at top of page) or to The Pescatarian’s Dilemma for help on making an informed choice.

Use an instant-read thermometer for perfect doneness of fish.  An internal temperature of 135 F.(57 C.) assures fish that is not over-cooked. As soon as fish is done, remove from pan to prevent further cooking by the hot pan.

For how to slice and dice a mango, and how to skin and slice a pineapple, see previous posts.

Butter is hot enough for cooking when the foamy bubbles have subsided.


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