Mangoes taste amazing at the moment and are definitely a good “in season choice”. Here are my favourite suggestions for mango.
Choose it: The best choice for mangoes is to pick ones that are nice and round (thin mangoes can often be stringy). It’s quite easy to pick a ripe mango, it’s similar to choosing fruit like peaches, plums or avocados. If you want to eat it straight away it should give slightly as you squeeze it (but not too much, as it may be over ripe, and then not much good for anything other than smoothies as it will fall apart when you cut it). Choose a slightly firmer mango if you want to keep if for a few days.
Don’t be put off by marks on the skin (as long as they’re not excessive these are quite normal and won’t affect the taste of your mango). Also, DO NOT pick ripe mangoes by the colour. Their colour can vary a lot, so orange doesn’t mean ripe and green not ripe, like it does with other fruits – use the touch test above. (Again, I have heard you can choose ripe mangoes by their scent – but I’m still not comfortable going around sniffing fruit, but maybe that’s just me).
I store my ripe mangoes in the fridge to make them last longer, and unripe mangoes I leave on the counter until they soften and are ready to refrigerate (keep an eye on them though as this can happen very quickly). It’s best to try and use your mangoes within a few days of them becoming ripe, as they will go soft very quickly after that.
Make it: I love Caribbean food and it’s the perfect cuisine (in my opinion) to choose when trying to include mango in a savoury dish. Here’s a recipe a friend’s mum gave me (it was hand written so I assume she made it up, but if you think it’s yours feel free to let me know and I’ll happily credit you), which I really enjoy as I don’t eat enough fish so I’m always looking for suggestions to make it differently:
Trout with Mango and Ginger
4 small rainbow trout, cleaned and scaled (Trout is one of my favourite fish, so I would always choose to use it, but you can substitute this with almost anything and it will still work: whiting, red snapper or sea bass are similar kinds of fish, so they are my recommended alternatives)
2 medium mangoes, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp, chopped fresh tarragon (if this is a pain to get hold of, use 2 tsp dried tarragon)
1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
pinch raw sugar (or light brown sugar)
250ml fish stock (or vegetable stock)
2 tbsp flour
Olive oil to cook
Salt and black pepper
1. Mix flour with salt and pepper (I’d say 1/2 tsp of each if you are unsure), and toss fish in the mixture.
2. Blend mango, onion, tomatoes, garlic, tarragon, ginger and sugar with the stock until smooth.
3. Heat a large frying pan and cook fish in oil (in batches if necessary) for about 6-7 minutes each side or until browned. Then set this aside somewhere warm.
4. Add the sauce to the same pan, stirring to ensure it absorbs the pan juices, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the fish back to the pan, spoon the sauce over the fish and cook gently for 15 minutes, turning fish occasionally.
Use it up:
So you’ve made the recipe above but you’ve still got a bit of mango left over. Here’s a few things you can try with the left over mango.
Tex-Mex Style Salsa:
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 mango, peeled, stoned and diced into small cubes
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and diced into small cubes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
Method: I usually just roughly mix the ingredients together in a bowl, mashing the mango and avo a little and then use as a dip, or as a topping to a burger (this is a nice contrast to a spicy chicken burger, and gives an interesting flavour combination), although if you prefer you can blend into a more smooth dip.
Mango and Banana Sorbet: Now I’ve shamelessly stolen this one from Coles (link below), but I love the idea of it only having two ingredients and as long as you have a food processor it sounds really quick and easy to make.
Smoothies: Always a great way to use up left over fruit, see my Last in season post (Pineapple) for one mango smoothie suggestion. Another one I tried this week was 1/2 mango, 200g frozen watermelon and apple juice, which made a really sweet and refreshing smoothie.
Ice lollies/popsicles: This is my new toy! I just got a set of popsicle moulds this week and I’ve had loads of fun trying out different ideas. One flavour combination I was playing with was mango and lime, which is so fresh and summery. Just blend mango and lime juice, pop it in a mould in the freezer and wait for it to set. You can add coconut milk if you want to make it a creamier texture, and the coconut will work well with the mango, but I just went for the mango and lime, adding the lime a bit at a time until I was happy with the combination. Both these and smoothies are great if your mango is starting to go too soft as well.
Enjoy experimenting with mango, I’d love to know how you got on in the comments 🙂