Cooked or fresh, mangoes bring juiciness and a sweet-tart flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. They taste delicious on their own, and they enliven other ingredients. Wash and peel the fruit before preparing it, and wear plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin or get allergic reactions to poison ivy or poison oak, because mango seeds and the sap that may be on the skin contain the same chemicals found in those plants.
Use either a paring knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from fresh mangoes. Then, use a butcher knife to slice off two large slabs of flesh from the wide sides of the mango, leaving the wide, thin pit in the center of the fruit, and cut two smaller slabs from the mango’s thin sides. Finish prepping by cutting the mango into chunks or strips for eating out-of-hand, adding to your breakfast cereal or any other use.
Juice, Smoothies and Fruit Ice
Mango’s strong flavor shines through when you juice the fruit for drinks or use it to make fruit ice, also called granita or sorbet. Blend the mangoes, sugar to taste and, if you would like a creamier result, about 1/4 cup of milk, cream or yogurt for each mango. For ices, freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer or in a shallow baking dish, scraping it with a fork every 30 minutes until it reaches a frozen consistency.
Salads and Desserts
Large chunks or small diced pieces of mango bring a touch of sweetness and lively flavor to green salads, and the fruit works especially well with citrus dressings made with either orange or lime juice. Or, use mangoes in Asian-inspired salads with basil leaves, ginger and mint. For dessert, serve mango mousse, diced mangoes topped with ice cream or yogurt, mango strudel with coconut sauce, mangoes and mango sauce over pound cake or the traditional mango and sticky rice dessert served in Asian restaurants.
Use mangoes as you would other fruits in stews, stir-fries and salsas. Because mangoes have a flavor affinity with coconut and coconut milk, they work especially well in curries. The fruit also pairs with poultry, pork, salmon, shrimp and tuna, when you serve a mango chutney or salsa to spoon over the meat or fish. Or, add mango chunks to dishes as varied as ceviche, tacos, quesadillas, pizza, ham popovers or chicken stew.
References and ResourcesNational Center for Home Food Preservation: The Mango -- A Tropical Treat
Frontera Now: This Is How You Prep -- and Eat -- a Honey Manila Mango.
Mango.org: Fun Ways to Eat Mangos
The Flavor Bible; Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Mango.org: Find Mango Recipes
University of Illinois Extension: Allergic to Poison ivy? Watch Out for Mangos!
The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst