Food of the Week: Mango

A mango is one of those foods that can’t be improved upon if it’s at a perfect state of ripeness. It is so flavorful, so sweet, so juicy. But variety, that spice of life, can justify using this fruit in food and drink recipes. It’s also the case that in our part of the world, the Midwest, not every mango reaches that perfectly ripe state.

Mangos are relatively high in sugar for produce. One source I found ( compared them to raspberries, which have about a third of the amount of sugar of mangos. On the other hand, mangos supply several important nutrients. One cup of sliced raw mango contains about 105 calories, 3 grams of fiber, about 75 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and a quarter of the amount of vitamin A. It also contains decent amounts of vitamins B6, E, and K and copper.

A note for those interested in spelling: according to the Oxford dictionaries, the plural of mango is properly spelled either mangoes or mangos. I initially chose –es for this column, since it was listed first in Oxford, but I found a website pointing out that the –s version works for both English and Spanish and fits better on signs. Of course, since this column isn’t readily available in Spanish and isn’t trying to fit on a sign, those points really just built a subjective case against the –es version, which kept looking weird to my eye. Spell it how you will!

Brazilian Shrimp
and Mango Salad

This is such a great combination, and a wonderful dish for eating al fresco in the summer. I don’t remember where I clipped this recipe from—some complimentary publication from a food co-op, I think.

¼ c. coconut milk
¼ c. mayonnaise
½ t. Tabasco sauce
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. honey
¼ c. cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
¼ t. salt
2 large, ripe mangos
14 oz. canned hearts of palm, drained and sliced
¼ c. red onion, slivered
1 lb. medium or large shrimp, cooked

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, honey, cilantro, and salt. Add the mangos, hearts of palm, red onion, and shrimp and toss.

Ginger-Mango Rice Pudding

For thicker pudding, use less milk. From Michael Symon.

1 c. brown or white rice
2 quarts whole milk or slightly less
2 T. fresh grated ginger
2 c. sugar
1 mango, diced
Opt. garnishes: Thai basil leaves, toasted macadamia nuts, candied ginger

Place rice, milk, and ginger in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring often, until milk is fully absorbed (brown rice will take longer). Stir in the sugar and mango. Remove from heat, let cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold with garnishes.

Fresh Mango Cobbler

More of a crisp than a cobbler. A half recipe serves about 5 people. From Ani Phyo.

3 c. pecans, dry
1½ vanilla bean or 1½ t. vanilla extract
¾ t. salt
1 ½ c. pitted dates (divided)
3 T. coconut oil, melted butter, or vegetable oil
2/3 c. water, as needed
3-4 ripe mangos, peeled and sliced (about 6 c.)

To make crust, process pecans, 1 vanilla bean (or 1 t. extract), and salt into a powder in a food processor. Add ¾ c. dates and process until mixed well. Press half of the crust onto bottom of a pie dish and set aside. (Don’t bother rinsing out your food processor; the leftover crumbs will add in with the syrup ingredients.) To make syrup, process ¾ c. dates, oil, ½ vanilla bean (or ½ t. extract), and water as needed to make a thick syrup. To make filling, place sliced mango into a large mixing bowl and toss with the syrup. Spoon onto cobbler crust, then top with remaining half of crust.

Note: When I tried to process the dates, oil, and water for the syrup, my food processor spewed liquid all over the place. Though my processor is old, you may find like I did that processing the dates alone first, then adding the liquid, works better.

Mango Lassi

There many variants on this classic Indian yogurt drink. This one is from and serves 3-4.

2 c. ripe mangos, peeled and chopped
1 c. plain yogurt
½ c. milk
3 T. sugar (or to taste)
1/8 t. cardamom powder (opt.)
3 c. crushed ice or ice cubes, as needed

Blend the mangos, yogurt, milk and 2 T. sugar. Adjust sugar according to taste. Add ice and cardamom powder and blend again.  Add water to adjust consistency to your liking, as the best lassi is slush-like.

Mango Chutney Cheese Ball

A bit of an oddball combination that really works. From

11 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c. golden raisins
1 (2.1 oz.) package cooked bacon, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 T. sour cream
1 (9 oz.) jar mango chutney

In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, raisins, bacon, green onions, and sour cream. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, or form into a disc on a plate and cover with wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. To serve, place the cheese ball on a serving tray, and pour the mango chutney over it. Surround with crackers for dipping.