sticky, juicy mangoes are a favorite of summer fruits and as early as May, the coveted alphonso variety comes into season. Once ripe, sliced mango can be served plain or with a squeeze of lime – and, as writer Nikesh Shukla puts it, “a delicious mango can make you forget, for the time it takes to eat it, that the world is a depressing place right now”. But the mango’s soft flesh and honeyed taste lends itself to a variety of sweet and savory dishes and drinks. With this in mind, 10 top chefs and beverage experts share how they enjoy using this delicious fruit.
Mango sticky rice cocktail
Juliette Larrouy, Chief of Staff at Two SchmucksBarcelona
Pick fresh, ripe mangoes, put the pulp in the blender and strain the pulp. With a simple sugar syrup, mix one part mango to one part syrup. Heat coconut milk with basmati rice – you don’t want to cook the rice, but let the milk infuse a rice flavor into the milk. This is best done in bulk: for 1 liter of coconut milk you use 100 grams of rice. Add 50ml infused coconut milk to 40ml of the mango syrup and shake with a pinch of salt, 10ml lemon juice, 45ml spirits of your choice – I like brandy but you could also use rum – and lots of ice. Then strain and serve.
mango hot sauce
Gina Hopkins, Chef at The Spread EagleLondon
When mangoes have softened and are just dripping juice, I like to make a hot sauce out of them. Blitz the pulp of a large mango with 2 tablespoons white vinegar, tsp salt and peppers – the chili you use, and how much, will affect the type of sauce you have. You can go for habaneros, which have a fruity warmth that goes great with mango, or jalapeños, which are less spicy but have a nice spiciness. If you want a smoky sauce, go for the chipotle chili. It’s really adaptable and good for eggs for breakfast, or tacos or rice dishes – it’s a great all-rounder!
The best mango I’ve ever had was an alphonso mango. It was a deep orange color and tasted phenomenal. If you have such a product, you can just serve it as is, with some vanilla madeleines and whipped cream. When the mangoes are in season, I also make a delicious 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 dressing, and some chopped fresh mint.
Tofu poke bowl with mango salsa
Romuald Pokrywka, Chef at Planet OrganicLondon
This is a sweet, spicy, refreshing dish for a hot day – a mix of savory and sweet. Make a dressing from 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp grated ginger, 3 tbsp tamari sauce, 1 tbsp brown rice syrup, 1 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar. For the salsa, cut the flesh of 1 mango into cubes and mix with a quarter of chopped red onion, a handful of chopped coriander, 1 chopped red pepper and mix with the juice of half a lime. Then build the bowls: 2 cups cooked quinoa for the base, topped with 200 g marinated tofu, ½ cup edamame beans, 1 cup shredded red cabbage, four radishes and half an avocado. Add the salsa and drizzle with the dressing. Serves two.
Japanese salmon tacos
Ronnie Bonetti, culinary director at YokuCheltenham
To make these “tacos,” cut a sheet of nori (dried edible seaweed) into large rectangles and coat one side with a light, tempura-style batter (you can make this with cornstarch and sparkling water). Shallow fry so that it becomes nice and crispy to form the taco base. Once cooled, dice a quarter of a mango, 100g of fresh raw salmon and divide both among three of the nori tacos. Top with ponzu sauce (store-bought, or make your own with orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, gluten-free soy sauce, and a splash of mirin). Garnish with sliced spring onions and fresh coriander. Absolutely delicious.
Liam Davy, head of bars at hawksmoorLondon, Manchester and Edinburgh
Mango and tequila are a great combination. To make this version of a paloma, take 50ml good quality white tequila, 100ml mango kombucha (available at health food stores), and 100ml mango soda (such as Rubicon). Mix in a tall glass with a squeeze of lime (about 10 ml) and a good pinch of sea salt. Garnish with a slice of dried mango and a wedge of lime on a cocktail stick. Mango can be a super sweet flavor, but using kombucha in this drink makes it taste a little drier and a little more mature.
Amberjack and mango carpaccio
Mirella Pau, Chef at TuttoBrighton (opens June)
I ate this dish for the first time on holiday in Sicily – it’s so nice and fresh in warm weather. Fruit with fish may seem strange, but this tastes fantastic. Take a 200g fillet of great amberjack fish and freeze it for at least nine hours (to kill any bacteria). Before serving, defrost and cut into very thin slices, along with the pulp of half a mango. Combine one part aged balsamic vinegar with four parts extra virgin olive oil to make a dressing. Drizzle the fish and vegetable slices on the plate with the dressing and season with coriander seed powder, pink pepper and Maldon salt flakes. Garnish with two grated almonds and a little chopped dill.
Alphonso mango lassi
Surender Mohan, Chef at jamavarLondon
This lassi recipe makes the most of alphonso mangoes during their volatile season and really makes the fruit sing. Mix 300 g of alphonso mango pulp with 700 g of natural yogurt 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 sweet and cooling accompaniment to spicy dishes, such as laal maas (slow-cooked lamb shank with Rajasthani chili).
mango salsa salad
This is a refreshing, colorful, vegan dish that is also easy to prepare. The recipe is perfect for a party because it can serve 10 people – and in fact it’s the best way to retain the aromas if you make it this big. Simply mix 170g chopped fresh coriander, 400g fresh lemon juice, 70g chopped green peppers, 70g cumin seeds, 90g yuzu, 250g fresh grated ginger, 2kg diced alphonso mango (with skin removed), 80g chopped jalapeños and 700g coconut yogurt. Let marinate for 12 hours, then stir in 50g chopped fresh mint and serve with corn tortillas.
Alphonso mango cheesecake
Avinash Shashidhara, Chef at Pahli HillLondon
For me, summer is all about mango. In India, where I grew up, there are over 250 species. I remember going to the market with my grandfather and buying big bags of it. For this easy mango cheesecake, mix 175-200g crushed digestive biscuits with 100g melted butter and press into the bottom of a cake tin. Then stir together 450 g cream cheese, 180 g whipping cream and 175 g caster sugar and stir in 300 g chopped alphonso mango. Soak two gelatine leaves in water to a jelly, put them in a pan and let them melt gently. Once cooled, fold through the cheesecake mix before pouring onto the cookie base. Refrigerate for two to three hours and decorate with sliced alphonso mangoes.