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Every kid in Hawaii looks forward to pickled mangos in the summer!
It’s hard to imagine anyone having a “too many mangos” problem, but believe it or not, it’s possible in Hawaii. During the summer Hawaii overflows with mangos. To combat the mangos ripening all at once (and going bad before we can eat them), locals will pickle green mangos and store them in the fridge. They make a perfect cold and lip-smacking sweet treat and it brings back many childhood memories!
The red and white shoots mixed in is myoga – a Japanese ginger that Mom was growing in the garden at the time. We had plenty of extras and she decided to throw them into the pickling process. They didn’t pickle very well, but they added a beautiful contrast to the mangos!
Aloha with love,
- Several green mangos
- 2 c white sugar
- 2 c brown sugar
- 2 c vinegar
- ¼ c Hawaiian sea salt
- Li hing mui Optional. Dried red plum seeds.
- Peel the mangos and take out the seed. Slice into thick long pieces. Don't slice it too thin or the mangos will become limp and will not be crunchy. These mangos were cut about a ½-inch thick. Transfer to a large bowl. If you have li hing mui, you can add these to the bowl, too.
- Heat up white sugar, brown sugar, vinegar and Hawaiian sea salt on medium heat to form the syrup. Constantly stir the mixture and use clean and dry utensils. Make sure the pot and utensils aren't wet.
- Pour the syrup into the bowl of mangos. With gloved hands, mix everything together so that the syrup is covering all the surface area of the mangos. The gloves will stop any contamination from your skin.
- Transfer mangos and syrup into containers. If mangos are floating above the syrup, place a small bowl under the lid before you close it so the pickling sauce is touching every mango slice.
- Store in the fridge and they should be ready to eat in about 2 days.
- Don't use wet/damp utensils, spatulas, bowls or containers. The water can affect and spoil the pickling process.
- Hawaiian sea salt is required. Don't substitute this since it will affect the taste.
- You can use any sugar or sugar combination that you like. However, Mom believes the brown sugar gives it that rich dimensional flavor and nice coloring.
- The mangos we used are from a dwarf Thai mango tree in our yard, but you can use any type of mango. There is a wide variety of mangos here in Hawaii, but the most common ones I see are the Haden mangos.
- Pick the mangos when they are very green and hard. Once they start changing color, it's too late. As soon as they're done growing, they're ready to be picked.
- Another advantage to picking them early is that the seed and meat haven't matured yet and aren't stuck together. This makes it extremely easy to take out the seed when slicing the mangos.