Here I am desperately clinging on to summer and what better way to defy the seasons than by enjoying the last of the harvest? Sadly, ripe mangos have again pretty much disappeared from the fruit shops but I was lucky enough to stumble upon some cooking mangos.
Filipinos have an affinity for green, sour, under-ripe but crunchy mangos. They are usually simply sliced, dipped in salt or bagoong (shrimp paste) and enjoyed with puckered lips. The more sour they are, the better. Little did I know, though, that Filipinos didn't have the monopoly on the pleasures of this masochistic snacking. Trying to introduce green mangos to an Indian friend a while back, she said 'Oh yeah, we love those back home dipped in salt and chili'. A Kenyan friend declared, 'Hmm, delicious with salt and sugar'.
These days, green mangos are available not only in the Asian shops but at most green grocers in Sydney. Then I came across this Thai recipe for enjoying them with prawns. Bingo! It could only be a winner...
Prawn and Green Mango Salad
300g cooked prawns (shelled, tail left on)
1 cup julienned cooking mangos (the flesh should still be firm and green or very pale yellow)
2 stalks spring onions, sliced
2 red birds-eye chillis, finely chopped
2 Tbs chopped coriander leaves
2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
3 c salad greens
1/4 c water
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp fish sauce
juice from 1 lime
dash of sesame oil
To prepare the dressing, simmer the water, sugar and ginger on low heat until the sugar has melted. When the mixture has cooled down, add the fish sauce, lime juice and sesame oil.
Assemble the salad by mixing together the salad leaves, coriander, mint, spring onion and chillis. Top with the mangos and prawns. Drizzle the dressing over and enjoy!