Sweet and versatile

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 July, 2012, 12:00am


Mangoes are very popular in sweet Asian dishes - think mango pudding, lassi and yeung chi kam lo. But their sweetness can also act as a counterpoint to savoury dishes. Salads are the obvious idea - chop the mangoes up and chuck them into green salads, or salads with roast chicken or cold, cooked prawns. Green, or unripe, mangoes are also very popular in salads, and offer a tarter flavour and crisper texture than their ripe counterparts.

Green mango salad

This cooling dish is made all over Southeast Asia - and is very popular in Hong Kong. You can add some cooked prawns, crab or fish fillets to make it more substantial.


1 green mango, peeled and sliced into matchsticks, or cut into ribbons using a peeler

1 carrot, finely shredded or cut into ribbons using a peeler

Handful bean spouts

1/2 onion, finely sliced

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 red chilli (or to taste), deseeded and chopped

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sugar

Handful coriander, Thai basil or mint, or a combination of the herbs, finely shredded, plus extra to garnish

Handful peanuts or cashews, whole or roughly chopped (optional)


1 Combine all the ingredients except the nuts in a large bowl.

2 Set aside in a cool, dry place (or the fridge if your kitchen is very hot and humid) for 20-30 minutes to let the flavours mingle.

3 Scoop onto plates, and scatter with nuts and extra herbs just before serving.

Grilled pork chops with mango sauce

This sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days. Try it with ice cream or drizzled over pound cake as well as with the pork chops suggested here. It also works well with grilled chicken breasts or white fish fillets.


4 pork chops

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

3cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Juice 1 lime

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tsp cornflour (optional)


1 Season your pork chops, and place them under the grill, in a griddle pan or on the barbecue.

2 Place all ingredients except the lime and orange juice in a small (preferably non-stick) saucepan over a low heat.

3 Cook for 5 minutes, then gently mash the mango a little bit with a fork - you can choose to mash it all, or leave some cubes whole.

4 Add the citrus juices and turn up the heat a little, stirring occasionally.

5 If you prefer a thicker sauce, add cornflour, and stir until dissolved.

6 Check the chops are cooked, plate up, then pour sauce over and serve.

Fruity facts

- The mango comes from the Indian subcontinent. It is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh.

- Mango leaves are used to decorate the house during some celebrations in Indian culture.

- Mangoes account for about 50 per cent of the world's tropical fruit production.

- Mangoes are low in calories, but high in potassium, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, fibre and carotenoids, and vitamins A, C and E.