The best mango recipes to make the most of the mango season harvest include everything from mango drinks such as mango smoothies, mango lassis and mango daiquiris to savoury dishes such as green mango salad, mango jam, and mango desserts, from a tropical Eton Mess to mango sticky rice.
Mango season – my favourite season when it comes to fresh local produce, not local weather! – is well and truly underway here in Cambodia and northern Southeast Asia. In fact, mango season is sadly coming to an end soon. The mango rains have finished and we have the dry lightning storms that mark the lead-up to the monsoon or rainy season in Cambodia.
The mango rains refer to both the couple of weeks of daily torrential downpours needed to take the mangoes from firm green fruit through to a glorious golden-yellow and ensure the mangoes reach their plump sweet potential, as well as the actual event of the ripening mangoes falling from their trees onto the tin roofs of houses.
If I had a home beneath a mango tree, that would be the most marvellous sound of the year to me. Although of course it’s a twice-yearly event, as there are actually two mango seasons, with another at the end of the monsoon season, starting in October. Though locals swear the fruit from the first season of the year are the most flavourful and sweetest of mangoes.
The mangoes in our lush semi-rural neighbourhood on the edge of Siem Reap began to appear on the trees around the same time as we moved to our new apartment amidst the start of the global shutdown in March when everyone began staying at home.
From the second bedroom of our second-floor unit that I use as an office, I look over the canopies of tamarind trees, sugar palms and mango trees among others, and it’s been torture watching the green mangoes appear, multiply, change colour, drop onto the roofs and ground below, and get retrieved before I can make a plan to venture out to collect what I can.
Just as I was despondently budgeting to buy mangoes from the supermarket, our landlords left a gift of organic mangoes from their farm on our doorstep and one of our favourite drivers left another bag of mangoes – on the same evening I did buy a bag of mangoes from Angkor Market.
I ended up having more mangoes than I could have dreamt of and I’ve been eating them fresh every day ever since. It’s now time to start cooking with mangoes before I begin turning orange like you-know-who. I’ve been intensively researching mango recipes in recent days and have made a plan.
This is what we plan to do with our leftover late season mangoes over the coming week, so welcome to our new series on the best mango recipes to make the most of the mango season harvest. We’ll be testing out the following mango recipes over the next days and refining and posting mango recipes on Grantourismo over the coming weeks. Do let us know if you have a mango recipe of your own or a favourite mango recipe that you like to make that we should try. We’d love to hear from you!
Best Mango Recipes to Make the Most of the Mango Season Harvest
Mango smoothies, mango coolers, mango lassis… cold mango drinks are so refreshing during this sultry season. Today I’m peeling the mangoes that are well and truly ripe that I know I won’t eat for freezing. I will slice some mangoes into cubes and chop up some small pieces for mango smoothies and pulp the soft mangoes for some other mango recipes I’m planning to make.
One of the best mango recipes to make the most of the mango season harvest has to be mango jam. I’ve been dying to make a mango jam recipe since the mango season started, although I decided I would indulge myself by eating as many fresh mangoes as I could first. Well, I have to confess that I’m done. I start testing my mango jam recipes tomorrow. I adore fresh homemade jams and one of the things I love about the best boutique hotels here in Siem Reap and other Southeast Asian destinations is that they always serve delicious house-made jams with excess seasonal tropical fruits. If I don’t create the perfect mango jam tomorrow, I might be calling upon a few local Cambodian chefs for tips…
Terence is making mango gazpacho and will post a recipe here soon for that chilled mango soup. We’ve been eating traditional tomato gazpachos forever but we really became smitten with more creative interpretations of this cold Spanish soup at contemporary Catalan restaurants in Barcelona and Mallorca many years ago. The most memorable was a mango gazpacho with lobster and avocado by Marc Fosh at his Michelin-starred restaurant in the 17th century Hotel Convent de la Missió in Palma de Mallorca. He also used to do a wonderful watermelon gazpacho. Terence will add a link here for that mango recipe once he’s done.
One of my favourite mango recipes makes a Cambodian green mango salad with smoked fish, shallots, dried prawns, fresh fragrant herbs, such as basil and mint, peanuts, and birds eye chillies. Green mango salads are also eaten in neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, and you’ll find slightly different versions in each country. In Thailand, they use more chillies than they do here in Cambodia, where they use just enough to give the dish a little bite rather than heat. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that we’ve been exploring Cambodian barbecue recipes and soup recipes. Well, next I am moving onto Cambodian dessert recipes and Cambodian salad recipes that I’ll be testing out for our Cambodian cookbook so I’ll share a link here to those soon.
Aside from salads, mango is not eaten a lot as part of a savoury main in Southeast Asia, however, one chef who does use mango a lot, particularly with seafood, is Vietnamese chef Duc Tran, owner of Mango Mango, Mango Rooms, and Mai Fish restaurants in Hoi An. Duc, who is obviously a lover of mangoes, has his own idiosyncratic culinary style that evolved from years of travelling the world surfing and cooking, and his modern Vietnamese cuisine is very much influenced by his travels in Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, and the Mediterranean. He pairs mango sauces with everything from ceviches to fillets of white fish and uses loads of aromatic herbs. His cuisine is very light and healthy and made for sultry summers. I’m going to chase chef Duc for a couple of mango recipes. I also like the idea of a mango curry. We’ve been eating Indian food for decades, however, we’ve not done a lot of travelling in India so I had no idea there were so many mango curry recipes. I’ll definitely be trying one or two.
When it comes to mango desserts, nothing beats an Australian pavlova with mango for me. It screams Australian summer. Terence makes a fantastic mango passionate pavlova, which I believe is inspired by a Neil Perry Rockpool Bar & Grill recipe. We don’t have that on the site yet (although I will get Terence to add it next week), however, I do have a tropical Eton Mess recipe with mango, passionfruit and dragon fruit. I’m also planning on making mango sticky rice, my next favourite mango dessert, and I’m going to be soaking the rice overnight and will try David Thompson’s mango sticky rice recipe from Thai Street Food tomorrow and will share that. What other mango desserts should we make?
And what other mango recipes should we test out and publish here? We’d love to get your suggestions for mango recipes. Feel free to leave tips in the comments below or email us or share them on social media.