Summer in the tropics can be terribly humid but there’s one thing that makes the punishing temperature bearable. It’s mango season in the Philippines and it looks like the tree in our garden will be showering us with fruits.
Piko. They’re on the small side but they’re exceptionally fleshy. And sweet!
Speaking of piko… Did you know that it is only one of hundreds of mango cultivars grown around the world? India seems to grow the most varieties.
Did you know too that the Philippine-grown kalabaw variety is already in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest of its kind?
We love mangoes at home. We eat mango by itself by splitting the fruit open, discarding the stone and just scooping the flesh off both “cheeks” of the fruit. We love pureeing the mango pulp to make drinks too. And when they’re really plentiful and at their best, as they are during the sweltering summer months, we cook and bake with mangoes.
Here is a list of my favorite sweet and savory dishes, and drinks, that include mango among the ingredients.
Serving suggestion: Place rice on bowls. Top with the shrimps with sweet mangoes and pineapple. Drizzle in some of the pan juices. Sprinkle with parsley.
Duck breast was seared in a hot pan just to give the skin a good color and texture. Then, it was braised in pureed green mango seasoned with salt, sugar and sliced chilies.
The heat from the chilies was tempered by the sweetness of ripe juice mangoes. The sweetness was, in turn, balanced by the bold tanginess of balsamic vinegar.
If you have leftover barbecued pork (or chicken or beef or lamb), know that smoky grilled meat goes well with sweet ripe mangoes, crisp slices of red onion and a sprinkling of roughly chopped flat parsley. That’s what this barbecued pork sandwich with mangoes and red onions is all about.
Crisp green leafy vegetables, a medley of colors and textures, light, cool and every mouthful refreshing. At home, Japanese kani salad is a favorite. It is very easy to prepare and the ingredients are available in most supermarkets all year ’round.
A no-cook dessert, this mango icebox cake was assembled with store-bought broas (lady finger cookies), whipped cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and slices of fresh sweet mango. Adding bits of chocolate is entirely optional.
Common need not be boring. This very common Chinese dessert made with soft and chewy sago, pureed mangoes and coconut cream is a refreshing break from heavy cakes and pies.
Khao neaw mamuang is a popular snack in Thailand. You’ll find the dressed up version in restaurants but equally delicious street food versions can be had for just a fraction of the price.
To make this breakfast / dessert plate, you’ll need suman sa ibus that’s at least a day old. You’ll also need dulce de leche, chocolate syrup, a bit of powdered sugar (it’s really optional) and fresh mangoes cut into small cubes.
See the bits of mango in the ice cream? To get the ideal texture, I used four fresh mangoes. I pureed two and cut the other two into small pieces. I mixed the pureed mangoes into the ice cream custard. I added the mango bits during the last five minutes of processing.
If you like to try to make a mango martini, try and get fresh ripe mangoes. We had two which were supposed to go into a bowl of kani salad but no one had the time to make the salad and the mangoes had turned very, very ripe. Obvious solution? Puree and make drinks.
Here’s an introduction to cucumber drinks that won’t make you turn your head away. By mixing cucumbers with sweet mangoes, you get that cucumber freshness without that feeling that you’re drinking a vegetable-based puree.
The classic margarita gets a facelift in this cocktail drink with the addition of very ripe and very sweet mangoes. Think of it as Mexico-meets-Southeast Asia in the best possible way.
Imagine Tequila Sunrise without orange juice but with pureed sweet ripe mangoes instead. Silom Sunrise is thicker, richer, sweeter and, quite frankly, mesmerizing.
If you want to see all the recipes with mangoes in them, head over to the Mango Archives.