When I was younger, one of the reasons that I looked forward to going to Cambodian New Year was for the pickled mangos. I didn’t mind waiting in a long line, paying for a couple of salty spicy mangos packed tightly in a clear zip lock baggie. I remember asking friends out of politeness if they wanted any and then hoping…no…PRAYING that they’d say “no.” But of course they’d ALWAYS say, “yes.” And then, my mind would be flooded with thoughts like, “man, I should’ve spit in it.” Hindsight sure is a bitch.
The following is my take on how to make pickled mangos. It’s not too salty, not too sweet, but HELLA SPICY and HELLA GOOD. Man, reminiscing about pickled mangos has definitely brought back the Tacoma girl in me because I’ve never written the word “hella” that many times, EVER.
6 Green mangos, peeled and sliced(do NOT use ripened mangos)
1/4 cup of salt
For the sugar water:
6 cups of water
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of red chili flakes(optional)
For the chili paste(dip):
1 Tbsp of salt
1 Tbsp of sugar
5 Thai fresh chili peppers
1/2 tsp of chili flakes
1 tsp of garlic powder
To make the chili paste: Combine all of the ingredients above into a mortar and pestle. Pound it until it becomes a paste. Set aside.
Take your sliced mangos and place them in a large, shallow bowl. Try not to stack too much on top of each other. Sprinkle your salt over the mangos and toss to coat. Let them sit for a MINIMUM of 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
While you’re waiting for the liquid to draw out of your mangos, make your sugar water. Add your water, along with your sugar, into a saucepan. Bring it to a quick rolling boil. Remove the pan from the heat(add in your chili flakes if using), and allow it to come to room temperature.
Boil a large pot of water and place the pot in the sink. After your 1 hour is up, CAREFULLY add your mangos into the hot/boiling water, and wash/rinse them off for about 1 minute. Drain well.
Allow your mangos to dry(for at least an hour)on two wire racks fitted over two baking sheets. You may use paper towels instead.
PACK your dried mangos(snuggly), into a container. Pour in your cooled sugar water. Cover tightly with a lid, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 full days. After 2 days, place your mangos into the fridge and wait 2 more days. It should take ABOUT 4 days total. Eat within 2 weeks.
Note: You may cut the recipe in half.
Watch the tutorial here to see how I cut and slice my mangos!