In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Mango chow – the pleasure and the pain.


hot-mango-chowOne 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.

You’ll need…

1 green mango (near to ripe is best)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

dash of black pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon shado beni hot sauce (or 1/4 cup  cilantro or 1/8 cup of shado beni – finely chopped)

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)

green-mango-chow
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.

trini-mango-chow

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.

peeled-mango

mango-chow

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.

caribbean-mango-snack

hot-mango-chow

Do you use another fruit for making chow? Maybe your recipe is totally different! Leave us your comments…please.

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37 Comments

  1. Keshav Dial
    November 7, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I enjoy adding a dash of vinegar to my chow, it adds the perfect tang.

  2. A. Douglas
    April 7, 2015 / 8:35 am

    I love this stuff. I’m Cruzan and grew up on a different recipe without the pepper, but I’m now hooked on yours. Just made a batch for my family visiting from St. Croix and they love it!
    Thanks!

  3. Risa
    October 20, 2013 / 6:47 pm

    As a Trini chow was a staple for me back home in Trinidad and even here in Toronto we make it at least once a week. Whatever fruit we can get, we make chow, mango, pommecythere, guava, cucumber, orange, mandarin even green apple. My cousin back in Trinidad told me the new rage is boil corn chow (lol). I make mine almost identical to yours except I add a little squeeze of yellow mustard to mine, it gives it an extra zing. Thanks again Chris, I really love your site and am working my way through all your recipes.

  4. Jamaica
    May 31, 2013 / 6:33 am

    Shadow Beni or Culantro which is totally different from Cilantro

  5. chris
    November 17, 2012 / 12:45 am

    for extra spicy taste squeeze an orange in it

  6. selena
    November 6, 2012 / 3:15 pm

    as i read this my mouth watered

  7. Ruth
    October 5, 2012 / 4:12 am

    Chris, I like using fresh pineapple (cut in big chunks) when mango is out of season. It tastes just as good! Ruth

  8. Frosty
    October 2, 2012 / 12:31 pm

    I just made 5 finger chow with the chadon beni, garlic, salt and hot pepper – it was totally delicious. Was thinking the sweet / tart flavour would probably make it a great topping on a fish sandwich or bake and shark.

  9. Jan
    August 3, 2012 / 10:05 am

    Mango chow is my favouite! but I like my mango a little more on the (sour) tart side. I have made chow with pommerac, pommecythere, pineapple, chennet – pretty much whatever is available at the time. I even introduced my nieces and nephews in the UK to apple chow – they loved it. On my return to T&T introduced it to my sister-in-law. Huge hit! Now I am seeing pineapple and apple chow actually being sold in the supermarkets.

  10. Pablo spice
    June 14, 2012 / 2:01 am

    Hi Christ was itruduced to u by a good trini friend I cooked your chicken soup it was awesome I luv the way your site is set out it so easy to follow and I also made ketchula my wife is Indian and she said it is so spot on so Christ keep up the great work that's bigin up the carrib

    By Pablo spice

    Uk england

  11. giselle
    June 10, 2012 / 8:46 am

    cane chow u is a idiot

  12. cherelle
    June 10, 2012 / 8:43 am

    i luv chow i eat it every day i am so in luv with chow . trini ppl cud eat a chow <3 <3 <3

  13. Brianna
    May 30, 2012 / 5:17 pm

    A true trinbagonian can make chow with any fruit…. Its mango season and I just mash up some mango…Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Jen
    April 30, 2012 / 2:02 pm

    Cane chow is seriously delicious

    • VJ4real
      July 25, 2012 / 4:02 pm

      Jen, i was just looking to see if any one mentioned cane chow…..it is the most mind boggling experience yet. Absolutely delicous!

  15. spersaud
    March 7, 2012 / 5:06 pm

    Mango, pineapple & cucumbers is a great combo

    • Yvette
      March 31, 2012 / 7:03 pm

      Pineapple chow great

  16. sherry
    June 17, 2011 / 12:26 pm

    u guys left out pomerac, cashew and pommecythere chow, now my mouth is watering

  17. shana
    March 30, 2011 / 4:10 pm

    thank you for the great pics..

  18. Victor Rahim
    December 4, 2010 / 12:27 am

    Do you have a receipe for the red (dyed) colored pepper mango. I miss this alot.

  19. Cynicroute
    September 7, 2010 / 10:57 pm

    I make mine quite different. I use salt, black pepper, vinegar, cilantro/shadon beni, worcestershire, pepper sauce (Tabasco can substitute). I like to marinade for as long as i can, but i usually dive right in.

  20. pato50
    September 4, 2010 / 6:41 am

    we have a new craze in trini now called boil corn chow

  21. Denise
    September 1, 2010 / 2:53 pm

    I was a chow fanatic as a child.The best chow I've eaten is soursop chow… but it is made with sugar and pepper! Everyone I've introduced it to, loved it! Trust me when i say it is delicious! Second choice was "half ripe" Julie mango with salt and pepper! Chennet is good also with salt and pepper. This is bringing back so much memories…….

  22. Grenada
    July 21, 2010 / 9:29 pm

    Cucmbers taste good like this also

  23. trini in LA
    November 23, 2009 / 11:09 am

    I've made chow with green apples…..it's a huge hit at work gatherings. Everyone from all cultures love it.

    • shenaynay
      May 30, 2012 / 10:14 am

      ally doyle was here! me from barbados and me friend is a real island trini ya man!!!!

  24. Giszy
    July 25, 2009 / 6:25 pm

    PINEAPPLE CHOW!!! Yummmm Yummmm…..I just started school in Trinidad a year ago and I made Pineapple and Mango chow for my family. They LOVED it!!!! =] but yeah….pineapple is bess! 😀

    • sheri
      December 31, 2010 / 8:21 am

      How do you make the Pineapple chow???

  25. kavi
    June 9, 2009 / 5:51 am

    I've heard about apple chow, still undecided on trying it, but nothing absolutely nothing can beat a mango or plum chow…..I've even had watermelon chow, it was real good.

    • triniredz
      January 31, 2013 / 10:48 am

      Apple chow is d bomb.

  26. arlene
    May 26, 2009 / 10:21 am

    I think you can make chow with any type of fruit eg plums,paw paw, guava etc,

    trins use almost anything we get in season!

    • Stacie
      August 3, 2012 / 11:19 am

      Friends in Siparia tell me Pineapple is the best. I've only had mango so far and it's one of my 2 favorite Trini foods (second only to doubles!)

  27. Chris De La Rosa
    April 21, 2009 / 3:28 pm

    @Raquet.

    I do agree mangoes are superb. I don;t eat much any more. I think I may have had too many as a kid… PLUS the ones we get here in Canada, really cannot compare to what I grew up on.

    The best mango I've had in the last 10 years or so, was a stranger in a market in Cuba gave me a piece of the one he was eating. Absolutely Amazing!

    • triniredz
      January 31, 2013 / 10:50 am

      Chris I love your recipes..You can also add a dash of sugar to your recipe and see the difference….Also you can use virtually any kind of fruit…some unusual fruits that i've tasted are tomato, pawpaw, chennette, guava, apple, five fingers, mammmy apple and they all taste weird but in a delicious way:)

  28. April 11, 2009 / 1:37 pm

    delicious! i love mangoes!!! i’m not sure i can leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hour—i will probably eat it all up as soon as it is mixed! thanks for sharing!!!

    raquel’s last blog post..Yia Yia’s Rice Pudding by Nick

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