Sjuicy, juicy mangoes are a favorite summer fruit, and as early as May the coveted alphonso variety comes into season. Once ripe, mango slices can be served on their own or with just a squeeze of lime – and, as writer Nikesh Shukla says, “a delicious mango can make you forget, for as long as it takes to eat, that the world is a depressing place right now.” But the smooth flesh and honeyed flavor of the mango lends itself to a variety of sweet and savory dishes and beverages. With that in mind, 10 top chefs and beverage experts tell us how they like to use this delectable fruit.
Mango sticky rice cocktail
Juliette Larrouy, bar manager at Two Schmucks, Barcelona
Pick fresh and ripe mangoes, put the flesh in the blender then filter the pulp. Mix with a simple sugar syrup, one part mango for one part syrup. Heat coconut milk with basmati rice – you don’t want to cook the rice, just infuse the milk with rice flavor. It is better to do it in bulk: for 1 liter of coconut milk, use 100 g of rice. Add 50ml infused coconut milk to 40ml mango syrup and shake with a pinch of salt, 10ml lemon juice, 45ml alcohol of your choice – I like brandy but you can also use rum – and lots of ice. Then strain and serve.
Mango hot sauce
Gina Hopkins, head chef at the Spread Eagle, London
When the mangoes have become soft and just dripping with juice, I like to turn them into a hot sauce. Toss the flesh of a large mango with 2 tbsp white vinegar, ½ tsp salt and chillies – the chilli you use and how much will affect the type of sauce you have. You can opt for habaneros, which have a fruity heat that pairs well with mango, or jalapeños, which are less spicy but bring a nice herbal feel. If you want a smoky sauce, opt for the chipotle pepper. It’s really customizable and good on breakfast eggs, tacos or rice dishes – it’s a great all-rounder!
Paul Ainsworth, chef-patron at Paul Ainsworth in Nor 6, Padstow
The best mango I’ve ever had was an alphonso mango. It was a deep orange color and tasted phenomenal. When you have products like that, you can serve them as they are, with vanilla madeleines and whipped cream. When mangoes are in season, I also make a nice mango pavlova. I make individual meringues – not too sweet and full of vanilla – with alphonso mango and clotted cream. The cream brings a comforting dairy taste without sugar. I serve it with a passion fruit sauce, almost like a vinaigrette, and chopped fresh mint.
Tofu Poke Bowl with Mango Salsa
Romuald Pokrywka, Executive Chef at Planet Organic, London
It’s a sweet, tangy and refreshing dish for a hot day – a mix of salty and sweet. Prepare a vinaigrette with 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp grated ginger, 3 tbsp tamari sauce, 1 tbsp brown rice syrup, 1 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp soup of brown rice vinegar. To make the salsa, dice the flesh of 1 mango and toss with a quarter of a chopped red onion, a handful of chopped cilantro, 1 sliced red pepper and toss with the juice of half a lime. Then build the bowls: 2 cups cooked quinoa for the base, topped with 200g marinated tofu, ½ cup edamame beans, 1 cup shredded red cabbage, four radishes and half an avocado. Add salsa, then drizzle with vinaigrette. For two.
japanese salmon tacos
Ronnie Bonetti, Culinary Director at Yoku, Cheltenham
To make these “tacos”, cut a sheet of nori (dried edible seaweed) into large rectangles and coat one side with a light tempura-type batter (you can make it with cornstarch and sparkling water). Fry lightly until it becomes nice and crispy to form the base of the taco. Once cooled, dice a quarter of a mango, 100g of fresh raw salmon and divide the two over three of the nori tacos. Brush with ponzu sauce (store bought or make your own with orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, gluten-free soy sauce and a little mirin). Garnish with sliced spring onions and fresh cilantro. Absolutely delicious.
Liam Davy, bar manager in Hawksmoor, London, Manchester and Edinburgh
Mango and tequila are a great combination. To make this version of a paloma, take 50ml of good quality white tequila, 100ml of mango kombucha (found in health food stores) and 100ml of mango soda (like Rubicon). Mix in a tall glass with a squeeze of lime (about 10ml) and a good pinch of sea salt. Garnish with a slice of dried mango and a lime wedge on a cocktail skewer. Mango can be a super sweet flavor, but using kombucha in this drink makes it taste a bit drier and a bit more grown up.
Amberjack and mango carpaccio
Mirella Pau, head chef at Tutto, Brighton (opening June)
I ate this dish for the first time while on vacation in Sicily – it’s so good and fresh in the hot weather. Fruit with fish may sound weird, but it tastes fantastic. Take a 200g fillet of large amberjack fish and freeze it for at least nine hours (to kill bacteria). Before serving, thaw and slice very thinly, as well as the flesh of half a mango. Mix one part aged balsamic vinegar with four parts extra virgin olive oil to make a dressing. On the plate, drizzle the fish and fruit slices with the vinaigrette, then season with ground coriander seeds, pink pepper and Maldon salt flakes. Garnish with two grated almonds and a little chopped dill.
Alphonso Mango Lassi
Surender Mohan, Executive Chef at Jamavar, London
This lassi recipe makes the most of alphonso mangoes during their fleeting season and allows the fruit to really sing. Mix 300 g of alphonso mango pulp with 700 g of natural yoghurt and 30 g of sugar. Pour into two glasses and garnish with chopped alphonso mango and a sprig of mint. I like to drink them on warm spring days – they are the perfect accompaniment to spicy, sweet and refreshing dishes, such as laal maas (slow-cooked lamb shank with Rajasthani chili).
Mango salsa salad
Sergio Cardeñosa, Executive Chef of Finca La Plaza and MikasaIbiza
It is a refreshing, colorful and easy to prepare vegan dish. The recipe is perfect for a party as it serves 10 people – and in fact, making it in bulk like this is the best way to lock in the flavors. Simply mix 170g chopped fresh coriander, 400g fresh lemon juice, 70g chopped green peppers, 70g cumin seeds, 90g yuzu, 250g grated fresh ginger, 2kg alphonso mango cut into diced (skin removed), 80g chopped jalapeños and 700g coconut yoghurt. Leave to marinate for 12 hours, then stir in 50 g of chopped fresh mint before serving with corn tortillas.
Alphonso Mango Cheesecake
Avinash Shashidhara, head chef at Pahli Hill, London
For me, summer is synonymous with mango. In India, where I grew up, there are over 250 varieties – I remember going to the market with my grandfather and buying big bags of them. For this easy mango cheesecake, mix 175-200g crushed digestive biscuits with 100g melted butter, and press into the bottom of a cake tin. Next, whip together 450 g of cream cheese, 180 g of double cream and 175 g of powdered sugar, before incorporating 300 g of chopped alphonso mango. Soak two sheets of gelatin in water until they look like jelly, then place them in a saucepan and gently melt them. Once cooled, stir it into the cheesecake mixture before pouring it over the cookie base. Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours, then decorate with slices of alphonso mango.
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