Friday, June 24, 2011

On Being Mexican and Eating Mango

Being Mexican is the best for a lot of reasons but the main one, you guessed it, is the food. It is unfortunate that most people end their lives without tasting real Mexican food. Their only references are Taco Bell and Cafe Rio. Hey, I like $.89 tacos as much as the next girl, just don't try to call it Mexican food.

We have so many wondrous dishes. Pozole, caldo de pollo, mole, mole de hoya, coctel de camaron, tamales (pozole, chicken soup, mole, beef stew, shrimp cocktail, tamales - respectively). Some are rich and decadent, some are light and subtle. Some keep you warm in the winter, others refresh you in the summer. A few even cure hangovers.

We also eat lots of mangoes. In a lot of forms. Mango water (English speakers would say juice, except it's not strictly juice. It's complicated.), mango ice-cream, mango lollipops and my favorite mango with lime and salt and chili powder. The latter is a street food, gloriously found in LA. Or you can just make it yourself as the ingredients are mango, lime, salt and chili powder. In fact, we eat virtually every fruit and vegetable this way.

You can imagine my surprise when, after going online to find further mango inspiration, I find a recipe for a mango salad that calls for mango, jicama, lime, salt. I'm sorry, but where I come from that's called being Mexican. Let's start working on some real recipes, Food Network. Thankfully, I found another mango salad recipe that ended up being delicious and not quite so obvious.

Some mango knowledge: Mangoes are high in Vitamin C. They keep quite well in the fridge (unpeeled). And to know when a mango is ripe just squeeze it gently. It should have a tiny bit of give. Too much means too ripe (or bruised) too little means it still needs a bit to ripen. Just bring it home and put it on a counter and it'll ripen in a couple of days. Then you can stick it in the fridge. Your mango should be sweet and delicious when you cut into it. And a little messy. Come to think of it, I should have done a mango peeling and cutting tutorial. I'll just make that my next post.

Ok, I got the following dressing from and made the salad from things that live in my fridge.

Shout out to Father-in-Law, who fixed this pic for me.
Mango Salad
Serves 4 with a bit of leftovers (trust me, you'll want leftovers)

2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 firm ripe mangoes, cut into cubes
1 large tomato, cut into cubes
4 green onions, chopped (green parts and all)
1/2 cup of sprouts (optional, duh, it's not like any of these ingredients are holding a gun to your head)
1/3 fresh cilantro leaves

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl then slowly pour the oil while beating well with a fork or whisk to emulsify the mixture. Combine salad ingredients, pour the dressing and enjoy enormously.

You can buy sprouts at most supermarkets or you can grow them yourself. Blog post about that to come.

Ok now, if this doesn't say summer, what does?


  1. Love this. love Mango. love Mexicans and only wish I could be one! I need to tell you how happy it makes me that you have a food blog. I am bleading it everyday- even sort of stalking it. Just thought you should know.

  2. Your blog makes me incredibly hungry.