I don’t think I ever had a mango until about five years ago. And if you would have asked me then I would have said something to the effect of, “Mangoes are a love it or hate it kind of food.” Wegmans says on their signs that mangoes taste like a cross between a peach and a pineapple. I remember thinking, “Yep. That pretty much says it all.”
I wasn’t a fan.
But over the years I kept coming across recipes calling for mangoes. They’re actually the most popular fruit in the world. Did you know that? Not here in the U.S., certainly. But there are a whole lotta people around the globe that love these peculiar, sweet, large-pitted fruits.
I first fell in love with them when I had some Mango Sticky Rice at a block party downtown a few years ago. A very simple Thai dish of sweetened coconutty rice with slices of mango served on top – it’s one of my favorite side dishes to bring to a party for it’s ease of prep and “wow” factor.
I had actually planned on doing a whole bunch of recipes with mango since I bought a crate of beautiful Champagne Mangoes at Sam’s Club last week. Also known as Atualfo Mangoes, they are smaller and have a softer, less fibrous texture than the regular ones.
(I just wiktionaried the plural of “mango”. Apparently both “mangos” and “mangoes” are correct but I have always intuitively spelled it the British English way. I was so tickled by this mundane bit of info I had to share :p)
So anyway, here is my new favorite thing to do with them. Great for parties, healthy, easy to prepare, and impressive to folks used to eating boring old tomato salsa out of a jar.
Here are the elements – 3 ripe Champagne Mangoes (or 2 of the bigger ones), pitted and chopped (we’re just going to pretend that my mangoes are not on the verge of going bad…), some finely chopped red onion (about 1/3 cup – not a whole onion), a handful of fresh cilantro, half of a jalapeno pepper (or a whole one if you like things really hot), seeded and finely minced, 1 Tbsp lime juice (or the juice of one fresh lime), and a good size pinch of salt.
Here is a video showing one method for cutting a mango. Also – remember to handle jalapenos with great care. Wear gloves if you have them. Just a little bit of juice in the eye will burn for hours.
Chop and mix it all up and you have a fresh, wonderfully flavorful salsa. It’s sweet, spicy, refreshing, and goes magnificently with salty tortilla chips. It may just make a mango convert out of you.
3 ripe Champagne Mangoes (or 2 regular ones), pitted, skinned, and chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeno, membranes and seeds removed, finely minced
a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice (or the juice of 1 fresh lime if you have it on hand)
a pinch of salt
Mix and serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.
Makes about 2 cups of salsa