Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spicy Fruit Salsa inspired by The Food Shack, Jupiter, Florida

Fruit salsas are very popular to serve with fish. I’ve seen numerous recipes in food magazines recently. We ate at Little Moir’s Food Shack, a fish joint in Jupiter, Florida that served a spicy, sweet, and colorful fruit salsa with a tuna basil roll, which quickly became my favorite. I had never tasted anything like the fruit salsa before. It was sweet, spicy and hot all at the same time and it burst in my mouth with flavor. They use whatever fruit is in season; currently it’s a melon combination. I personally prefer the mangos, nectarines and tomatoes, which was in the salsa the first time I tried it there. Taste and adjust ingredients as you go. If you like it spicy, add more peppers. They grow their own peppers and I’ve never quite gotten a handle on what they are, but they are spicier than the jalapenos I use.

The Food Shack is in an ordinary looking strip mall stuck in between a dentist office and H & R Block where you think you would least likely find a great seafood restaurant. Owner Mike Moir (rhymes with foyer) is the head chef and a genius when it comes to seafood. He calls his cooking “a simple twist of taste,” but it’s far superior to simple. The small dining room is long and narrow with hand painted tables that Mike made himself. Surfboards and children’s paintings adorn the walls. A young and attentive staff takes care of your every need. They also happen to serve some of the best soups I’ve ever eaten. The Soup Nazi is a wizard when it comes to unique and flavorful combinations. We were there a couple of weeks ago and my husband had the sweet potato, coconut, ginger and crab soup that was fabulous. My favorite appetizer is the deep fried tuna basil roll with wasabi dipping sauce served with the spicy fruit salsa. The tuna is very rare and the egg roll like shell is light and crispy. My husband’s favorite is Panko fried oysters over greens, mixed fruit and gorgonzola.

The "joint jumps" as they say and has definitely been discovered. They don’t take reservations and the line can be so long on Saturday night that there are tailgate parties in the parking lot waiting for their name to be called. Little Moir’s Food Shack is open from 11 to 9, closed on Sunday. Our favorite time to go is either around 11 when they first open or late afternoon before the dinner crowd.

Here’s a portion of the New York Times Sunday review:
“Concealed in the back of a strip mall along U.S. Highway 1 in Jupiter, Little Moir's Food Shack looks as if a raucous Key West bar had been uprooted and trucked up north. Not only is this the coolest place I visited but it's also among the best, turning out terrific and creative local seafood with Caribbean and Asian accents.” Continued…….

This is our version of their salsa. We serve it with simple broiled salmon but it would be equally terrific with fresh tuna or grilled chicken.

My Carolina Kitchen's Version of Little Moir’s Food Shack Fruit Salsa

1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 large nectarine or peach, peeled & diced
1 tomato, peeled, seeded & diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced or well chopped
Juice of ½ to 1 lime
1 tablespoon hot pepper such as jalapeño, minced
2 to 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut in chiffonade

Place all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss. Season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Serve within 30 minutes of mixing as it can get watery. Do not omit the cilantro or the basil. Serves 4.

Simple Broiled Salmon
My Carolina Kitchen's basic recipe

2 pounds boneless wild salmon fillets, preferable with the skin left intact
2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral tasting oil 
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the salmon into four pieces approximately the same size and weight. Put salmon in a dish; rub with oil, salt & pepper and let sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Preheat the broiler.

Arrange fish in one layer, skin side down, on an unheated sheet pan lined with heavy duty foil for easy clean-up. Place the fish under the broiler about three inches from the source of heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes or just until the pieces are cooked through. It is not necessary to turn the fish. If fish starts to get too crispy on the top, change from broil to bake and bake at 400 degrees until done. Do not overcook. Serves 4.


  1. Sam this is one gorgeous dish. This fruit salsa is so fresh I can imagine how it makes the salmon pop. The tuna dish with the wasabi dipping sauce sounds amazing.

  2. I grew up in Florida and that mini strip mall with the restaurant looks exactly like where I grew up, actually it looks like Florida. Love it! It made me laugh!

    Your meal sounds so fabulous! I have to see how far this place is from my mom's! I love this spicy fruit salsa and it does look like the perfect accompaniment to a plain grilled fish. And perfect for summer!

  3. Oh, yum! Putting mangoes on my grocery list right now!

  4. This dinner sounds lovely. But I must say the salsa is my favorite part, it looks so pretty and just bursting with flavor.

  5. Sam, don't you just love little "hole-in-the-wall" places just waiting to be discovered. Your salsa looks very tempting and it will be on our menu very soon.

  6. I absolutely love finding a good local place, especially one that is so unexpected. I may have to try this place next time I go to Florida. Your version looks great and so perfect for summer!

  7. I love "hidden treasures!" And I love fruit salsas w/ seafood...this sounds very tasty. My tummy is growling.

  8. Sam, Wish we had known about this place when we were in Jupiter last month. Will try the salsa. Thanks!

  9. I love fruit salsas. This looks like a great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. This is a wonderful dish! Salmon is one of the best fish to be eaten.

  11. I posted a similar recipe a while back, except I used swordfish!!! Love the mango and peach salsa

  12. Wild salmon sounds wonderful with that fruit salsa - what a great recipe!

  13. I knew I'd love this recipe as soon as I read 'spicy fruit salsa'! Since I'm nowhere near Jupiter, FL and Little Moir's Food Shack, I'm happy that at least I can have a taste of it with this. Perhaps next time, you might be inspired to recreate that sweet potato, coconut, ginger and crab soup your husband had and share it with us . . . ?

  14. Looks delicious. I love mango in salsa. I had grilled salmon last night with a curry rub and a cilantro-mint pesto.

  15. Salmon and fruit salsa is a great combo - something about the richness of the fish and the sweetness and heat of the fruit salsa.

  16. Looks delicious, and very colorful! My mom makes a very similar dish, but she seasons her salmon with teriyaki sauce for the salty/sweet effect.

  17. mmmmmmm that sounds scrumptious Sam. I am unfamiliar wih ALL your ingredients, so must try this one. You make the food sound so delicious.
    Blessings, Star

  18. You have discovered a real treasure~ This is quite a delicious way to enjoy salmon,especially if you are fond of mangos!Thanks for sharing the recipe~

  19. sounds lovely will try next time I make Salmon, great blog

  20. Sam, looks refreshing, perfect for the warm weather. I especially love the combo of sweet fruit and spice!

    By the way, thank you for your kind words of support, I really do appreciate it.

  21. I am behind on your posts! Okay now I want salmon and below I want shrimp...I like the glass plate and bowl...I should do a post on all my dishes, and glass in my curio cabinet...caterers and foodies love their dishes!

  22. Sometimes you find the best restaurants in the strangest places.

    The salmon looks excellent - I love fruit with my salmon.

  23. I miss those little places in Florida... There was a time...
    Always such great fish!

  24. Sam,
    This dish looks really good. It's colorful and makes me hungry just to look at it. Your blog is great and your postings are wonderful. I really enjoy visiting your blog.

  25. Oh, how I love Salmon! This dish looks fabulous! I only wished my husband liked Salmon too. I only have it if I go out for dinner so it's a special treat!

  26. Hi Sam,

    I have loved a fruit salad with cinnamon tortilla chips - yum - a recipe from a Pampered Chef friend.

    2 kiwis, chopped
    many strawberries, hulled and chopped
    1 orange, juiced, the pulp chopped and 1/2 of the skin chopped finely
    2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
    blueberries, halved or quartered
    2 tsp. apple jelly
    1-2 tsp. honey or brown sugar

    Combine all chopped fruit in a bowl. Stir together the juice from the orange, the apple jelly and the honey (or brown sugar). Add to the bowl of fruit -- don’t make it overly juicy (you want a salsa consistency).

    Let it sit in the fridge overnight.

    Serve with sweet tortilla chips -- cut flour tortillas into triangles and dip quickly into water. Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 475 degrees for about 4 to 6 minutes (watch carefully!). When they are crisp, remove from baking sheet and cool before putting into serving container (so they don’t get limp from the heat/steam).


    (Hope Town Council looks at our house plans this coming week - yay!)

  27. YUM!
    I like the addition of peaches to the salsa.

    I made something similar but with tilapia. The salsa is also great for fish tacos.

  28. Sam, This looks very much like the papaya salsa that I learned about and posted the other day. I thought about the addition of chopped tomatoes as is in your recipe....I think that's a good addition! The honey addition is a bit different and I am sure very delicious! I'm happy to have found your blog to learn more cooking tips and ideas! Roz

  29. I post a new salmon recipe in my blog, each week, and I am going to add this to the ones I have selected to make. Maybe, it will go to the top of the list. It looks cool and yummy.

  30. Mmm, great idea for a fruit salsa. With peaches and nectarines in season, it will be extra delicious. Great idea!

  31. Hi! I am a resident of Jupiter, FL, born and raised, and this restaurant is a local favorite. You always leave pleased and they never dissapoint. There is another resturant in Jupiter called "Leftovers", which is owed by the same people who own Food Shack. My favorite menu items are the Tuna Basil Roll and for lunch I love the sweet potato crusted grouper cheeks.

  32. We love The food Shack! Thank you for this recipe. Have you figured out their recipe for cucumber salad?

    1. Aunt D, so glad you like The Food Shack. It's our favorite seafood joint in Florida. I wish I could provide more information about the cucumber salad, but I think I must have missed that one. Maybe another trip to The Food Shack is in order for us :)


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