Ripe, juicy mangoes are just waiting to be picked this time of year.
Mango season is one of my favorites. Each year I look forward to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Mango Festival, this year July 11-12, with a chance to taste dozens of different types of mangoes. It’s a big crop this year.
If you’re looking for ways to use mangoes, try this simple salad featuring mangoes, chicken and Chinese noodles.
Here are some tips on how to handle a mango:
Mangoes continue to ripen after they are picked. Keep them at room temperature until they yield to gentle pressure. To speed up the ripening, place mangoes in a covered bowl or paper bag.
The recipe calls for mango cubes. Slice off each side of the mango as close to the seed as possible. Take the mango half in your hand, skin side down. Score the fruit in a crisscross pattern through to the skin. Bend the skin backwards so that the cubes pop up. Slice the cubes away from the skin. Score and slice any fruit left on the pit.
Another quick method is to slice off each side of the mango as close to the seed as possible. Hold the mango half in the palm of your hand and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Cut off any remaining mango pulp from the pit.
Sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to the dressing. Toasted sesame oil can be found in most supermarkets. I prefer its more intense sesame flavor.
Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: This would be nicely matched by a wine with a hint of sweetness. Maybe a German riesling.
▪ White vinegar diluted with a little water can be used instead of rice vinegar.
▪ Any variety of cooked chicken strips, pieces, roasted or rotisserie can be used.
▪ Dried Chinese noodles or angel hair pasta can be used instead of fresh ones.
▪ Minced garlic can be found in jars in the produce section of the market.
▪ A quick way to slice scallions is to snip them with a scissors.
▪ Place water for noodles on to boil.
▪ Mix sauce.
▪ Boil noodles.
▪ Make salad.
To buy: 1 bottle low-sodium soy sauce, 1 bottle rice vinegar, 1 bottle toasted sesame oil, 1 package fresh or dried Chinese noodles, 10 ounces roasted or rotisserie boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 mango, 1 package shredded cabbage, 1 package shredded carrots, 1 package washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch scallions and 1 bottle roasted, unsalted peanuts.
Staples: Minced garlic.
Find more of cookbook author Linda Gassenheimer’s recipes on her website, dinnerinminutes.com.
CHINESE MANGO AND CHICKEN SALAD
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 pound fresh or dried Chinese noodles
10 ounces roasted or rotisserie boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
1 cup mango cubes
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts
Place a medium saucepan filled with water on to boil over high heat.
Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil and set aside.
When water comes to a boil, add the noodles. Boil 2 minutes and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Mix chicken, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, noodles, mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Divide between two plates and sprinkle the scallions and peanuts on top. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 669 calories (31 percent from fat), 22.8 g fat (4.1 g saturated, 9.1 g monounsaturated), 173 mg cholesterol, 54.6 g protein, 64.4 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 791 mg sodium.