Tasty Southeast Asian Honey Pineapple Salsa
This delicious honey pineapple salsa originates in Southeast Asia, particularly the region of Thailand and Indonesia. The cool, sweet pineapple combines well with the spicy chili pepper. In that portion of the world, recipes like this are commonly served as a salad, a side dish or as a condiment with a main dish. Try it piled on top of grilled pork chops or a nice halibut steak.
This recipe calls for a Serrano pepper. Serranos are smaller than jalapenos, and they are hotter, too. They have thin walls with a thick flesh on them. They rate an impressive 10,000 to 20,000 on the Scoville scale. If you do not like your salsa that hot, try substituting jalapenos instead. Serranos are long and thin with a blunt tip. They usually grow about 2-1/4 inches long. You can find mature Serranos in red, brown, yellow, orange or green. When working with all chili peppers, be sure to wear gloves. Do not scratch your face while slicing them or your eyes will suffer for it. Afterwards, remove your gloves and wash your hands to make sure there is no capsaicin on your skin. If you are processing a lot of peppers, you may want to protect your eyes as well.
You can use common basil in this dish and it will taste great, but if you can get your hands on some Thai basil, it will be more authentic. Thai basil, otherwise known as Siam Queen, has dark purple stems with medium sized pointed green leaves with purple veins. It is a pretty leaf with a pronounced licorice-basil flavor. It is frequently used in Thai and Asian cooking to impart more depth of flavor.
Once you have diced your pineapple, cucumber and onion, you can stir in some chili and herbs, as well as garlic, soy sauce and honey to add a southeastern flavor. This recipe takes Mexican cuisine in a new direction. Interestingly enough this cuisine is a blend of various cuisines, including African, European and Caribbean influences, so adding some new flavors to create fusion dishes is something which often works very nicely, especially in this salsa recipe. So if you are looking for something brand new, combining classic south of the border ingredients with an Asian twist, this is the recipe for you.
- 12 ounces pineapple, diced
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 small handful Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves
- 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 Serrano chili, seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons honey, or to taste
- Mix the pineapple, cucumber, and onion in a plastic or glass bowl.
- Mince the basil leaves with the cilantro and toss them into the bowl. Mix well.
- In another bowl, mix the chili, garlic, soy sauce and honey until they are well blended.
- Pour over the other ingredients and toss gently.
- Let the salsa sit so the flavors combine.
- Chill at least 2 hours for the best results.
- The best flavor comes out after the salsa has warmed to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
This fresh pineapple salsa is guaranteed to give your taste buds a wonderful experience. The fruit is blended with Mexican ingredients as well as aromatic southeast Asian ingredients, to bring you something brand new. Serve this with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes, or try it with chips. You could also add some of this to a deli meat and cheese platter, or top your burger with it. You are sure to find plenty of uses for something this versatile and delicious. Working with fresh pineapple rather than canned means you can be sure of a very fresh flavor in your salsa.
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