When us locals see the green mangos weighing down the huge mango trees, that’s when we start thinking “mmm…pickled mangos…” Pickled mangos is a treat that comes only once a year and the best recipes are the homemade ones with mangos plucked from your very own yard. The trick is to use very green mangos that are fully grown, but nowhere near showing the signs of ripeness. This ensures a satisfying crispy cold bite once the mangos have marinated for at least a week. While there are variations from household to household, here is my mom’s most basic recipe for you to try out and enjoy.
On the stove, heat up 2 cups white sugar, 2 cups brown sugar, 2 cups vinegar, and a quarter cup of Hawaiian sea salt. As I’m writing this, she is stressing the Hawaiian sea salt behind me so make sure you put sea salt in when you make your batch. As for the sugar, you can have any combination you want depending on your own tastebuds, but she likes brown sugar for the flavor and the extra color it gives to the pickled mango when it’s marinated long enough. The result will be a syrup that you’ll pour over the mangos. On to the mangos:
If you’re anything like our family, your picked fruit go on the red kayak Dad is working on because you can’t find a bucket. You’ll notice that our mangos are different from the norm since we have a dwarf Thai mango tree. My parents purposely chose this tree because the common mango tree can get gigantic and our yard is only so big.
As I stated before, knowing the best time to pick your fruit is important. You want the most meat so you’re looking for fully grown mangos. However, any ripeness will make the pickling process moot so you definitely want to avoid picking your mangos too late. The plus side of picking mango when they’re young is that the seed is still developing and it’s very easy to slice right through them as we did here. Once you cut through, the seed will pop right out.
Once you’ve cut everything up, just pour your syrup over the mangos and mix well, making sure the surface area of each piece is covered with syrup. My Mom decided to experiment with some Myoga (Japanese ginger) that she had plucked out of her garden earlier this week and threw them in this batch, so don’t worry if you don’t have these. She’s thinking the ginger will add an extra kick…we’ll let you know!
Once everything is mixed, grab a dry container or two and fill it up with the mangos all the way to the top. Make absolutely sure that the inside of the container is dry. You don’t want any liquid mixing with the syrup and distorting the pickling process. Once you’ve filled it with as much fruit as you possible can, pour in the marinade syrup until it too reaches the top. To prevent anything from floating up, try adding a small bowl on top so that the lid forces the bowl down to keep the fruit from floating up and out of the marinade.
And there you have it. This pickled mango will be ready to eat in about a week after it’s been soaking in the syrup. Just keep it in the fridge and try it out when you think it’s ready. Let me know how this goes. We’d love to hear how this turns out for you. Happy pickling!