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Plenty o’mangoes: Round 2

It turns out there are many different types of mango. I probably would be able to tell two apart if I saw them side-by-side, but overall, if you put, say, fifty different types of mango in a pile, I’d see a pile of mangoes, not individual cultivars. It’s flat out ignorance and there’s no excuse for it, so I’m aiming to better myself. I believe the ones we have bought are Bowen mangoes, or Kensington Pride mangoes, based on their size, smell, and the fact that Bowen/Kensington Pride apparently make up the majority of mangoes for sale in Australia. There are gold, yellow, red, purple(ish), and green skinned cultivars. In Thai cooking, you often see green mangoes featured: sometimes these are underripe mangoes, and sometimes they’re green-skinned mangoes. The Nam Duc Mai variant is apparently very popular for Thai cooking. Mangoes also feature heavily in Indian, Pakistani, Philippine, South American, Central American, and Caribbean cooking, in sweet and savoury variations. Dudes, you should see what I’ve got in mind. But that’s for the future! Today: green mango salad!

Green mango chopping

This is a green mango! Not a “green mango”, but a green “mango”.

Having been deeply impressed with the tartness of a green mango salad we shared at a friend’s place, we were determined to try it. We set aside the greenest ones we had: this is clearly a golden-skinned cultivar, but an underripe one will stand in for a green mango dish in a pinch. I peeled and finely matchsticked the flesh. The mango was just starting to tip over to ripe, so the flesh was juicier than I thought it would be — fine qualities in a mango, of course, but if you’re shooting for a green mango salad, I would recommend getting one that is bright, sour, and firm, if you can. But this was delicious. My soft, sour matchsticks began to limpen a little and they became a little noodley, but that’s okay: I tossed it with salt, mirin, lime juice, and sesame oil, and then threw in some shredded coriander, mint, and Thai basil. Meanwhile, M cooked up some caramelised tofu and onions, and a couple of bánh xèo crepes to fold up on the side.

Green mango salad, served as a side

Shredded green mango salad!

End result? Well, what do you think? It was amazing! I love this tangy, sour, bright and fresh dish. Almost anything is awesome when tossed with salt, lime and coriander, but green mango salad is the royal leader of, uh, lime-salt-coriander tossing.

A final note: underripe mangoes can often be quite irritating the to gums, lips and inner cheeks. You may want to try a little bit off the end of your mango first to see if you enjoy it. If not, wrap it up and put it out to ripen: you can always return to it in a couple of days when it has sweetened and softened!

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