I lived for a couple of years in Hawaii and we had a mango tree in our small yard (also lime, papaya, banana, and avocado). With the mangoes, we ate them ripe.
On the mainland, it is hard to get good tropical fruits, especially guavas (my favorites). Mangoes are always green and sometimes don’t ripen, so I rarely buy one.
I was at the Dekalb Farmers Market a few weeks ago and there was a guy with major dreadlocks and two cases of mangoes in his cart. I figured there was a good chance he might know something about mangoes Turns out, he did. We had quite a conversation, and one thing he said was there are lots of things you can do with unripe mangoes (note, I have discovered that grocery mangoes tend to ripen if you give them time, grocery store guavas do not).
He said to simply cut them up, add some lime juice and salt, and chili peppers if you like the heat. I could tell he loved this stuff.
So, I finally got around to buying a green mango and trying this out. This is a semi-recipe, I have no idea what the “proper” quantities should be, but I think tasting and adjusting will give you the salad that is perfect for you. This recipe take no time at all and make a great snack.
Unripe Mango Salad
1 unripe or partially ripe mango
lemon juice (lime is what he said, but all I had was lemon)
ground cayenne pepper
1. Skin the mango and cut into small chunks. Place in bowl.
2. Add about 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1/4 tsp of salt to start. Mix and taste, then adjust to taste. The lemon juice and salt together is amazing.
3. After the lemon and salt is right, add the pepper if desired. The pepper is optional. Start with 1/8 tsp , mix, taste and adjust.
I’m eating this as I write this and wish I had more than one mango on hand.