6 Bright Mango Dishes to Help You Forget It’s Winter

Mangoes are classified botanically as drupes, meaning they have a single seed we call a pit on the inside and soft flesh on the outside. Other notable drupes include peaches, apricots, avocados, and cherries, all of which are just so good when perfectly ripe. This places mangoes in really good, delicious company. In a dead winter season devoid of other fresh drupes with runny juices, mangoes are a lifesaver.

They’re also really good for you. One mango provides 15% of your daily fiber, a quarter to a third of your daily requirements for vitamins B6, A, K, and E, and 96% of your daily vitamin C. They’re also chock-full of antioxidants. All around, you should be eating more of them. If you find mangoes too tannic, let them ripen more in a paper bag on the counter before you dive in, and they’ll give way to bright, creamy sweetness.

For a tutorial on the best way to carve a mango from its pit, see this video from Martha Stewart. Don’t cut yourself! For whole halves of a mango, see this video from Lifehacker. Now use your freshly cut mango to make these 6 amazing dishes and forget it’s so dreary outside.

Source: iStock

1. Quinoa Salad With Mango, Lime, and Ginger

This quinoa salad from Alexandra Cooks (scroll down below the soup) uses red quinoa, which has more of a toothsome crunch and nutty flavor than the quinoa you may be used to. It’s a great variety for quinoa salads, as it holds up against vinaigrettes without getting mushy. It also offers a beautiful contrast to both the green of the snap peas and the bright yellow of the mango.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup snap peas, stems removed
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 4 to 5 scallions or spring onions, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 mangoes, peeled
  • 1 to 2 serrano chilies, depending on your heat preferences
  • 1 inch-long knob of ginger, peeled
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced

Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse under cold water. When the water comes to a boil, add the quinoa and simmer for 9 minutes. Drain in a fine-meshed sieve and run under cold water until cool. Set aside to dry.

Meanwhile, slice the snap peas on a bias and set aside. Roughly chop the cashews. Slice the white and light green portion of the scallions thinly. Remove the seeds from the chilies, then finely dice. Grate the ginger with a microplane or finely mince with a knife or purée in a food processor until you have a tablespoon of minced ginger.

Place the drained and dried quinoa into a large mixing bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Add the snap peas, cashews, scallions, chilies, minced ginger, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice to the bowl. Toss and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Let salad marinate in the fridge for an hour. Dice and fold in mangoes just before serving.

Source: iStock

2. Thai Mango Salad With Grilled Shrimp

This salad is like summer in a bowl. It’s all bright colors and fresh flavors, but it takes full advantage of a mid-winter mango season. Blogger Michael of Verses From My Kitchen grew up eating this salad from a local Thai restaurant up the street. It has a lovely combination of juicy, sweet mangoes and a bright cilantro citrus vinaigrette that remains memorable. This recipe utilizes a grill for the shrimp, but you could just as easily sear them in a pan on the stove. The rosemary skewers impart a lovely herbaceous, woodsy note to contrast the other flavors of the salad.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large tiger prawns
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, for skewers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ large cucumber, roughly chopped
  • ½ large orange pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • Small handful of fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions: Remove three-quarters of the rosemary leaves and slide 3 shrimp on each sprig.

Add the next 9 ingredients to a bowl and mix. Reserve half for the dressing and use the rest for the shrimp on the grill. Grill the shrimp over medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side, or until browned with grill marks. Brush the sauce over top of each side.

Take the slices of mango and pour over the reserved liquid. Add in the cucumber, orange pepper, shallots, green chili, and a handful of chopped cilantro; mix and season.

Plate the mango salad and add in the grilled shrimp over top.

Source: iStock

3. Mango Salad With Fennel Frond Pesto

For another twist on a mango salad, make this mango and fennel pesto salad from Food52. Mango and fennel pair very nicely together, and a generous splash of citrus really pulls it all together. We recommend slicing the fennel bulb as thinly as possible, as it can be quite chewy in larger strips. If you can’t find a fennel bulb with the fronds still attached, you can make a decent substitution with carrot tops and a bit of mint. This would make a wonderful light lunch or a great side for citrus-glazed salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bulb fennel with fronds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated on a microplane
  • Juice of one lemon, plus more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large or 3 small ripe ataulfo or champagne mangos
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions: Make the Fennel Frond and Ginger Pesto first. Shear the fronds from the fennel bulb, leaving the thick stalks behind, and chop the fronds roughly. You should have about 2 cups. Combine the chopped fronds, grated ginger, grated garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times to incorporate. With the food processor running, pour in the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and process until combined. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and season to taste with kosher salt.

Once the pesto is assembled, make the salad. Trim the root and stalks from the fennel bulb and slice it thinly, cutting from root to stem. Peel the mangos and cut the flesh from the pit; slice into long, thin strips. Add the sliced fennel bulb and mango to the bowl with the pesto and toss gently to combine. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Source: iStock

4. Beer-Battered Fish Tacos With Margarita Mango Salsa 

Fish tacos are instant summer. Fish tacos with mango lime salsa and jalapeño crema are an instant beach vacation. The best part about the fish in these tacos is that, even beer-battered, they’re pan-fried and light. For even more of a tropical twist, pan fry the battered fish in coconut oil. Turn up the heat for a weekend afternoon, don a pair of shorts, stand in a sunny spot with sunglasses, and chomp down on a boatload of these tacos from How Sweet It Is. You’ll forget it’s January.

Ingredients:

Tacos

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • 10 ounces your favorite beer
  • ¼ cup canola, vegetable or olive oil
  • 4 fresh or thawed cod filets, at least 4 ounces each
  • 1 head napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4-inch flour tortillas

Salsa

  • 1 mango, chopped
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • ½ jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1½ teaspoons silver tequila
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar

Jalapeño crema

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions: To make the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To make the crema, add the ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree until combined. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

While the flavors in the crema and salsa are marrying, cook the fish. In a bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked pap, salt, and chili powder and whisk to combine. Pour in the beer and whisk until a smooth batter forms.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Dip the fish in the batter and coat it completely, then drop it in the skillet to fry. Let each piece of fish fry until the sides appear golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Gently remove the pieces with a spatula and place them on a paper towel to absorb any liquid. Repeat with all the fish, adding more oil if needed.

In a small bowl, stir together the cabbage with the lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.

To assemble the tacos, warm the flour tortillas. Add a few pieces of the fish on top, followed by the cabbage, the salsa, and then a drizzle of the crema.

Source: iStock

5. Jamaican Curried Shrimp and Mango Soup

This soup from Eating Well is promised to transport you to the islands. Something about shrimp and mangoes just does that. If you can find Jamaican curry powder, use it. Otherwise, get your hands on any store-bought curry powder and add a pinch of allspice for an approximation. Packed with protein and vitamins, this soup will keep you going all winter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups seafood broth or stock or clam juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can lite coconut milk
  • 3 ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1¼ pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, curry powder and thyme; stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add broth, coconut milk, and mangoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Carefully puree 3 cups of the soup in a blender. Follow Nosh On It’s instructions for pureeing hot liquids without hurting yourself. Return the puree to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and cook until pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Stir in scallions and salt.

Source: iStock

6. Mango Cashew Sunshine Bites

These bites from My New Roots are the perfect travel companion. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or car — or just mentally through the pages of a good book — these bites will sustain you and a sunny mood wherever you go. They’re packed with tropical flavors and energy-boosting nutrition. Make sure you find dried mango that isn’t sweetened additionally or packed with sulfites, and stay far, far away from sweetened coconut. Bob’s Red Mill has great coconut for these bites.

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup dried mango pieces
  • ½ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut, plus more for garnish
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons creamed honey, for sweetness if desired
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • Lime zest
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch ground turmeric

Directions: Soak cashews for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse. Soak mango for 20 to 30 minutes until softened slightly but not mushy.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except honey. Pulse to combine until a sticky dough is formed. Taste for sweetness and add honey if desired.

Spoon out about a ½ tablespoon amount of mixture at a time and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll in coconut to coat. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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