Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spicy Mango

Sweet, hot and with a sensuous texture, is the way this culinary cheapskate likes it! Mangos are just too darn sweet sometimes, so this recipe is a great change of pace. It is simple to do and you control the heat. All you do is sprinkle crushed red chile flakes over sliced mango, followed by a bath of fresh lime juice. It's a great flavor profile: sour, sweet and spicy.

It's a delicate balance, but you can add the red pepper flake and lime juice a little at a time, until you get it right. Ripe sweet  mango can take the sour heat.

My local Latin market always has mangos on sale. You may have to stalk your regular grocery store until  they reduce prices, but my latest sweet side dish is worth the wait. This tasty treat is another reason for you to get familiar with local ethnic markets. Mine stocks every type, from huge Mexican mangos to small Manila mangos, both way cheap.

I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried Spicy Mango -- the addition of crushed red pepper did not overpower everything -- it pairs perfectly with honeyed mango. I've also included a photo-tutorial on how to peel a mango -- it's the least messy way I've found.

In the waning days of summer, this 'mango salad' makes a great addition to the menu for a backyard Labor Day BBQ or patio gathering.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 large mango - or 2 small ones.
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - you may want to add half the amount and taste for heat.
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice - fresh or from a bottle. Okay to use lemon juice.

*Spicy substitution: a whole chopped jalapeno (remove seeds) - of course, add a little at a time to suit your heat tolerance.


Peel ripe mango(s). They should be yellow (some are flecked and airbrushed with red and green), and soft but not mushy.

I like to peel half a mango at a time; it's less messy.  Cut just deep enough, through the skin, with four slices -- lengthwise, connecting cuts top to bottom.  Peel off half the skin (2 slices) on one of the wide sides (the seed is thin and flat like an oval hubcap.) Sometimes the skin will break, so peel until skin of one half side is removed.

Now all you have to do is slice off the flesh to the seed. You can make large or small slices, or cut crosshatches to make cubes.

Next peel the skin off  half of the other side (one quarter) of the mango. Slice or cube-cut the flesh. Finally, peel the last quarter and cut the remaining flesh. You may be able to work more fruit off the seed at this point. You can cut the mango into uniform bites or leave it roughly cut.

In a bowl or plate, arrange cut fruit and sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Be sure to distribute evenly, so you don't get extra hot spots. Adjust amount to suit your taste. Finally drizzle on a tablespoon of lime juice. You can serve this salad cold or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Amish Fiction Writer Sicily Yoder said...

You ought to have seen me peeling my Champagne mangoes tonight. I made a salad with them , diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, tarragon, Sherry cooking wine, Raspberry Vinegar, and EVOO.

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