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There’s Pickled, Then There’s Shoyu Mango


Shoyu Mango


Gosh, it’s been AGES since I had Shoyu Mango, a snack I used to love as a kid. Just saying the name, let alone looking at it makes my mouth water. The way I remember making this “back in the day” was just shoyu and vinegar, using semi-ripe mangoes. I’ve also seen this robust/salty/sour “sauce” used in the same fashion with tangerine wedges and, believe it or not, Vienna Sausage straight out of the can. Whoah!

Of course things are different now as an adult – especially eating habits – making shoyu or even pickled mango, today, something I really have to be in the mood for.

The Shibata Mango tree at mom’s place is a late-bloomer this year, with matured, fully-grown fruit only now reaching their harvesting stage.


Shibata Mango Tree

While I much prefer a sweet Hayden or Pirie for eating plain at fully-ripe stage, Shibata mangoes are perfect for pickled mango when still green due to their larger size, tangy flavor and fibrous flesh.


(green) Full-grown Shibata Mangoes

Notice there’s a few Shibata here that outsize the 4-3/4″ diameter Kikaida DVD next to it. There’s been some come off that same tree in the past that measured closer to 7″, which perhaps a Godzilla DVD would best be suited for THAT size comparison. lol

Also notice a distinct one-sided curved shape the Shibata have.

Here’s what one of those larger ones looks like in cross-cut view…


(green) Shibata mango, cross-cut view

This Shoyu Mango dish was actually a spin-off project to pickled mango that I had been preparing the other day, using a batch of Shibata I recently harvested. While peeling and slicing them, I noticed a couple fruits were at the perfect semi-ripe stage, so those were separated and used for the Shoyu Mango…


Those darker yellow slices are pefect for Shoyu Mango, so I separated those into another bowl

Since I had all the ingredients and cooking utensils out and ready to go, I figured go for it. As mentioned earlier, the recipe I remember from the “old school” was simply shoyu and vinegar. But that was then and this is now.

Based on measuring carefully, and taste-testing to my current personal preference, this is what I came up with on the Shoyu Mango dish I’m presenting here today…

Shoyu Mango

1 or 2 Semi-ripe (more ripe than green) Mango (Shibata shown), sliced in bite size strips
1/2 cup Rice Vinegar
1 cup Shoyu (I used Aloha brand)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar

Heat vinegar, shoyu and sugar in pot to dissolve sugar and combine flavors, then let cool. Pour in a serving bowl with the sliced mango and serve.

The reason I added sugar was to counter the tartness of the Shibata, which helped it quite a bit. Of course, that’s just my taste buds. If you you like it more salty, acidic or sweet, adjust the ratio accordingly. Some folks also add black pepper and/or Hawaiian chili pepper, and God knows what else, but I think simple is best.


Shoyu Mango

How did it taste? Pretty much how I remember it as a kid. Sweet, sour, salty and bold. Very bold. That’s why I say you have to be in the mood for it. To be honest, it kinda’ hit me like a brick wall. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I just wasn’t ready for the kick this thing’s got!

If you have childhood memories of Shoyu Mango or a your own recipe you’d like to share, buss ’em out cuz!

In a post coming soon, its big brother (or big sister, however you wanna’ look at it), Pickled Mango!


A jar of Pickled Mango just made, that still needs to soak for a few days

Related Links:
Mayo’ Mango Madness
Mango Bruschetta
Takin’ it back to the old school… (external blog site)

33 thoughts on “There’s Pickled, Then There’s Shoyu Mango

  • July 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm
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    wow, this really brings back memories, like in the 50’s and 60’s. only thing all we had was common mangos, back in those days very little hayden and piere mangos. what you call semi ripe, we would call half ripe. never had shibata mangos, so i cannot compare. the common mangos , if i remember right was tart with a sweet tinge to it. the shoyu sauce was often done without measurements and this and that for personal taste, but it was so ono. your site is outstanding, really like your subject matter, and thankyou for such clear fotos

    Reply
  • July 23, 2008 at 11:11 pm
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    OMG, my favorite! We used to eat this all summer long small keed time at my papa’s house. Only ting different is we used to add pepper to the shoyu and vinegar.

    I love reading yoah blog, brah!

    Reply
    • May 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm
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      Try adding Tabasco its a winner!!!

      Reply
      • May 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm
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        I’ve got a couple half-ripe/green mangoes right now. I shall try that!

        Reply
  • July 24, 2008 at 4:48 am
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    OMG. All yoa fault I get drool all ova my keyboard!

    Da color! Da flavor, alla way back to small kid time. We had two mango trees in our yard, and how I miss them….

    Reply
  • July 25, 2008 at 5:26 am
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    …ah, man. I remember this. My grandpa had about six haydens in his back yard and we’d go out with the mango-picker and make shoyu mango. I liked pepper too.

    I like pickled mango more. Bring on the next post. :)

    Reply
  • July 25, 2008 at 6:34 am
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    My mouth is watering !!! i love shoyu mango too !!! OMG …now i have a craving !!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2008 at 4:09 am
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    All your comments (sincerest mahalo for that!) reflect what I’ve heard from the guys in the office when they read this post. It’s interesting how just saying “Shoyu Mango” can make you salivate, especially when you remember how it tasted as a kid.

    DDL, you’re probably the only one here (so far) who hasn’t had this yet, and I have to honestly say, if you try this as an adult, having not had it ingrained in your collective memory from childhood, you’ll probably find quite weird, if not worse. It is indeed salty, but the mango does tame that a bit. Then again, if you’re a shoyu fanatic, this will be right up your alley!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2008 at 8:17 pm
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    I have been jonesin for pickled mango all summer until my neighbor had given me some pickled mango. It hit the spot just right and now I should be good till next summer.

    Since you gave me a few of your mangos I had to do the Shoyu version, and badoosh, instant flashbacks of childhood memories. We never used to cook the stuff before dropping in the mangos and it works just as fine.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm
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    Diner A, nice link. Is that your home page? lol

    FYI, I didn’t cook the mangoes. They’re just sitting sliced fresh and cold in a stainless steel bowl (in that photo).

    Hope you folks make it to Forty Niner this weekend!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm
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    Might not, baby luau today.

    I’ll find out who catered, take a few pics and give a rating.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2008 at 10:17 pm
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    Sorry, what I meant was I did not heat up the stuff (shoyu, vinegar, sugar) to melt and combine flavors.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2008 at 6:59 pm
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    Yummm… never tried this… looking forward to your pickled mango post too!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2008 at 10:50 pm
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    You are really making my mouth water.

    I remember when we ate shoyu mango, I’d get the seed and scrape all the flesh off with my teeth, leaving these hairs on the seed. Then I’d soak up the shoyu with the seed hairs and suck suck suck it off the sead.

    Ho, da saliva is flowin’ now!

    Reply
  • August 8, 2008 at 3:51 am
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    I just made this tonight cause I found lots of green mango at the store. (Kalihi transplant to Kansas) I don’t heat up my sauce either. I also add tabasco sauce and some ponzu sauce…or I get a little fancy, I add li hing powder. But the simple is still my favorite. It’s sitting in the icebox right now soaking up the ono juice.

    Stuff like this keeps me tied to my local roots.

    Reply
  • January 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm
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    Oh, that looks so ono. We used to eat green Chinese mangoes with shoyu and pepper. That’s ono, too!!

    Reply
  • June 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm
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    Just tried shoyo cucumber!  Was looking for the same taste but don’t have mango.  It was tasty.  And same as most of you, my cousin Kawehi would make this for everyone all summer long.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm
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    Everyone knows you use BROWN sugar. And what about the chili pepper?

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  • February 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm
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    Pat, mahalo for the tip on using BROWN SUGAR vs. white sugar. Those details in specific selection of ingredients certainly make all the difference. Aside of using brown sugar for this recipe, I’m also not familiar with having a spicy-hot element from Chili Pepper in my “Soyu Mango”, but I’ll certainly give it a try. “Insider” recipe secrets for sure!

    Speaking of sweeteners, I’m wondering how Agave syrup would work for this. I swear, it makes for the BEST Teriyaki sauce, amongst many other possibilities, albeit pricey.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2011 at 7:09 am
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    Pomai, when I was young my father was a supervisor at Lihue Plantation. Any plantation family could go to the bulk sugar storage plant which had mountains of brown sugar and fill a paper bag for the family. My mother would sometimes send me over. A 2 mile walk, to bring back a bag that would last for months.

    Reply
  • July 19, 2013 at 7:04 am
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    I can’t wait for mango season I’m really hungry for mango already. My family used to eat these kind’s of stuff before and we used to use vinegar (Regular)and not the rice vinegar but it’s good to try something new now it’s making me hungry now…..

    Reply
  • July 31, 2013 at 3:08 am
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    Ate this most of my life growing up on Kauai and in Kaneohe. Instead of rice vinegar, use apple cider vinegar, shoyu, pepper, and dash or dashes of Tobasco sauce (if you like). To change the flavor a little, just simply change the shoyu, from Aloha to Hilo Brand, or even Kikkoman. I prefer green mangoes and this sauce also is ono with green guava or Granny Smith apples.

    Reply
    • July 31, 2013 at 5:34 am
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      Mark,

      Then there’s pat’s suggestion of using brown sugar vs. white. As for Apple Cider Vinegar, it’s said to have a higher pH level, giving it more “bite” to stand-up to fruits with also high acidity. Plus I think it tastes more natural and “rounded”, and not as medicine-like and sterile as white vinegar. I will say Apple Cider Vinegar is a must when making pork or chicken adobo (learned that secret from Auntie Lynn). Speaking of which, since you’re mentioning shoyu brands, you should try the Silver Swan brand from P.I.. The best shoyu to cook with!

      Hmmm, green guava and GS apples, eh? If you’re the “daring” type, you might also want to try this shoyu-vinegar “sauce” with Vienna Sausage as a pupu. Not for me, however you might like it.

      Reply
      • July 31, 2013 at 9:58 am
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        Vienna Sausage for pupu…..all the time. My Dad and his brothers would only use Libby’s. With me it didn’t matter. We just sliced them and put shoyu and pepper. My Dad would also make a bowl of canned red or pink salmon with vinegar and sliced Maui onions for pupu. And then of course there was the big Kauai avocado which we would slice up and put salt and pepper, also for pupu.
        BTW I do not put any sugar in my shoyu mango. Some of my friends did, but prefer it more on the sour side, hence the green mango and guava. I was stationed in P.I. for three years and my ex-wife use to use the Silver Swan and you’re right, it was good for cooking.

        Reply
        • July 31, 2013 at 12:09 pm
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          Mark,

          I’ll try your dad’s canned salmon with vinegar and sliced maui onion. Sounds ono!

          That’d be funny, going to a party, and all the pupus spread on the table are nothing but canned goods (still in the can). Vienna Sausage, Salmon, Tuna, SPAM Spread… you name it, with various concoctions of shoyu, vinegar and pepper-based sauces in or on them. Da”kine ghetto party, local style. Hey, why not?! ;-)

          Sounds like another fun subject for an upcoming post: “Canned Goods Pupu Party!”

          My mom puts mayonnaise mixed with ketchup on avocado. My favorite way to eat avocado is by simply pouring Extra Virgin Olive Oil in it (seed taken out, flesh still in shell), along with a sprinkle of Hawaiian Salt and pepper. The EVOO goes really well with the taste of avocado, IMO. Has this exotic mediterranean thing going on. Love that!

          For Shoyu Mango, sometimes I don’t put sugar either, when I want more “bite”. Depends on the ripeness and sweetness of the mango. Actually, when it’s more on the green side, I prefer a stronger vinegar flavor.

          Reply
          • August 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm
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            I remember at the canoe club having nothing but an onion and a can of corned beef.(I had just dropped by on the way home to say hi to the boys) Was better than nothing. And the boys were thrilled as they had nothing and were on #6. Used the raw onion to make scoops of the plated and dessicated corned beef. Round can. Tasted fine. LOL

  • March 10, 2014 at 7:35 am
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    Born in HI, lived in CA 42 years and now in Texas. Bought a huge amt. of mangoes at Costco yesterday and mostly green or partially ripe from Peru? I thought to myself — where am I going to find da recipe I used to make as kid? And den, there it was. Mahalo. I will try this today as my haole husband says he doesn’t like Mangoes but pickled and with some Tobasco, he may like it a lot. He loves pickled Mex. carrots. You should try dat! I hope dis is as I rememba! That was in the 50’s. my memory probably not so good any mo! Aloha

    Reply
  • March 10, 2014 at 8:22 am
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    Karen,

    As briefly commented previously, one time I attended a small party on Maui (Makawao to be exact), and the house host busted out of all things, Vienna Sausage in a bowl of Shoyu and Vinegar, plus a little bit of Tobasco and lots of black pepper. That’s it. Straight out of the can, no frying or heating, nottin’. I was like, “huh, is this a Makawao pupu kinda’ thing”? Yet you know what? With a cold brew (or two), she go! LOL!

    Does this recipe for Mexican Pickled Carrots sound about right?…

    http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/sidedishes/r/spicycarrots.htm

    Reply
  • June 22, 2015 at 10:37 pm
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    Good day! I would like to request your permission to distribute the photo of a mango tree that was posted on this webpage: http://www.tastyislandhawaii.com/images/shibata_mango_tree08_5.jpg. For further inquiry about my request, you may email me at: bookdev_researcher@yahoo.com. Thank you!

    Reply

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