One of my favorite snacks when mango was in season as a kid on the islands was mango chow. Even today, whenever we meet at family gatherings, there’s usually a bowl of chow in the midst. I can still recall eating away at this piping-hot combination of tart fruit, garlic and herbs… balanced with the wonderful juice of a fresh squeezed lime or lemon. I guess you were thinking sweet and savory when you think “snack”.
Seems everyone I’ve met over the years makes this a bit different, but you can’t go wrong with my take on mango chow.
1 green mango (near to ripe is best)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
dash of black pepper (optional)
2-3 cloves of garlic (depends how much you like garlic)
1 lime or lemon
1-2 habanero peppers (or your favorite hot pepper)
1 shallot (optional)
Let’s get started. In a bowl, place the salt, sliced pepper, garlic and shallots. For a stronger flavor, instead of slicing the pepper and garlic, crush it with the salt using a pestle.
Wash and peel the mango using a pairing knife or potato peeler. Then slice into wedges and place in the bowl. Remember that the mango will have a hard core (seed) so you won’t be able to slice all the way through. Now add the shado beni hot sauce if you have some stored, or add the fresh shado beni / cilantro.
Basically the only ingredient you should have left is the lime or lemon. Squeeze the lime into the mixture you have in the bowl and toss around using a spoon. Sometimes we’re tempted to use our hands, but remember that you used those hot peppers so it may leave your hand burning if you do.
Taste for salt at this point and add as necessary. Depending on how tart the mango is, you may require some more salt. You have 2 options now.. dig in or cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for a couple hrs. If you decide to have it marinate, be sure to toss it around every 30 minutes or so for best results.
Do you use another fruit for making chow? Maybe your recipe is totally different! Leave us your comments…please.