HOW TO CHOOSE A MANGO
When it comes to selecting mangoes, colour, smell and firmness are an indicator of their ripeness.
- If the mango has a slight green shade to the skin and is firm to touch it has yet to ripen fully. It will be slightly tart in flavour and crisper in texture. I like to use slightly sour mangoes sliced thinly and tossed through Asian-style salads. These mangoes are also delicious sliced into wedges and sprinkle with a mixture of dried chilli flakes, lime zest, sea salt flakes, and a little sugar. This is a very popular street snack in south-east Asian countries.
- Mangoes with a bright yellow or orange-coloured skin, perfumed aroma and slightly tender flesh are ripe and will have softer, sweet juicy flesh inside. Ripe mangoes are perfect for snacking on, decorating desserts such as cheesecakes and pavlovas, grilling on the barbecue to pair with charred chicken or pork, diced to toss through salsas or chopped and cooked into a chutney or hot sauce.
COURTNEY’S GO-TO RECIPES
Mango hot sauce: To make my go-to mango hot sauce all you need to do is fry an onion and a little fresh ginger in a fry pan until soft. Add in a mixture of chopped long red chillies, habanero chillies, the flesh of two ripe mangoes and a little water. Cook for eight minutes, or until softened. Let the mixture cool then blitz in a blender with handful of fresh coriander, a good splash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Store in sterilised jars and serve with barbecued prawns, fried chicken, pork ribs or your favourite taco fillings. This mango hot sauce is also really nice mixed into a Bloody Mary to add a kick of heat and slight sweetness.
Healthy treats: Mangoes have a lot of natural sweetness, so they are a great option for healthy treats. If I have mangoes that are starting to get too ripe in my fruit bowl, I like to dice the flesh and freeze it in an airtight container. You can then use the frozen mango in a delicious smoothie blended with a banana, milk, cinnamon and a little honey.
Frozen mango also makes a great dairy-free instant “nice cream” by blending it with a splash of coconut milk, vanilla bean paste, lime juice and a dash of maple syrup until smooth and creamy. This mixture makes a great base for a smoothie bowl. Simply add the frozen mango mixture to a bowl then top with sliced banana, strawberries and toasted granola.
HOW TO CUT A MANGO
- The easiest way to cut a mango for snacking on is the “hedgehog” method. Simply place the mango with the stem facing upwards and tip facing the board. Use a sharp knife to slice down either side of the seed to remove the cheeks. Cut a 1.5cm criss-cross pattern into the flesh, making sure not to cut all the way through the skin. Hold the scored mango cheek with both hands. Place your thumbs on the flesh side of each end of the cheek then use your middle and index fingers to invert the skin upwards to form a hedgehog.
- I like to use a large spoon to remove the skin from the cheeks of mango if I want to keep the whole cheek intact. Place the mango cheek in one hand then use a large thin metal spoon to scoop the flesh from the cheek, making sure you leave the least amount of flesh on the skin as possible. This method is ideal if you want to cut long strips of mango for salads, cakes or to dress pavlovas or cakes. It is also a good method to use if you want to finely dice the mango flesh for salsas or salads without bruising the flesh too much.