Several weeks ago I did a write-up about Shoyu Mango, promising a pickled mango encore, so here it is.
Local celebrity Chef Alan Wong was once quoted saying, “In Hawaii, there’s just two seasons: mango season, and no-more-mango season”. So true! As you know, summer is peak mango season here, and mom’s trees are at the stage where most of the fruit are ready for harvest. Especially the Shibata.
During that time making the Shoyu Mango, my actual project was making Pickled Mango. Here’s how the mangoes I harvested for it looked…
That’s seven out of the eleven total.
I followed my cousin, Nohea’s recipe, primarily in her use of Rice Vinegar, Chinese 5-Spice and Star Anise. For quantities, I followed the standard ratios, but adjusted a bit to my personal preference.
• 1 cup rice vinegar (very important to use rice vinegar)
• 2-1/2 cups granulated white sugar (not brown)
• 2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
• 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
• 1 star anise
• 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
• Green Mango, (fully grown and mature), enough to pack into two large glass jars, sliced into bite-size strips
• Sweet dry Li Hing Mui seeds (optional, but highly recommended!)
That brown powder stuff is the Chinese 5-Spice and the stars are Star Anise. You may have to go to Chinatown for those 2 ingredients (depending on your supermarket’s selection). The shoyu was for the shoyu mango, so disregard that.
Add rice vinegar, sugar, Hawaiian salt, 5-spice, star anise and red food coloring into an adequately-sized pot on stove and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes (to extract flavor from Star Anise). Stir to thoroughly dissolve sugar and salt. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove Star Anise after liquid has cooled.
A note on the red food coloring: be VERY careful with this stuff. Don’t let the concentrated liquid get on anything don’t want to be stained.
Pack the bite-size strips of mango tightly into glass jars. Keep stuffing the mango so there’s little “wiggle room”. Doing this will displace volume, stretching the precious pickling solution..
Pour the pickling liquid from pot into glass jars with the mango in it…
Cover jars tightly and place in refrigerator for at least 1 week (preferably 2) before eating. Here’s how it looks, ready to eat, after about 3 weeks…
It’s best to turn the jars over every other day to move the liquid around. Notice how the mango took on the the pickling liquid completely. The red food coloring is just for aesthetics, but I think it’s important.
The red color also helps to indicate how much the pickling has penetrated into the mango…
Here’s the container I made with the Li Hing Mui in it…
Pomai’s Pickled Mango with Li Hing Mui
Here’s a piece each from the three containers just shown…
Which one tastes the best? With the Li Hing Mui of course! In fact, I don’t know what’s better, the Li Hing Mui in the liquid or the mango! Nah, both is awesome! The 5-Spice and Star Anise give it that flavor where guaranz’ someone going ask, “What you wen’ put in here? Whatevah it is, da’ buggah’ stay so ono!” The Li Hing Mui version is a giveaway though, as that flavor really dominates.. in a good way!
Whoooo, my mout’ watahz jus’ looking at dis!
For good measure, and because we’re in mango overload mode, I cut up some ripe Pirie and Shibata mangoes for breakfast this morning…
Ah, fresh, chilled, sweet mango. Hit da’ spot!
Oh, and that nursery rhyme tongue twister would go something like this…
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled mangoes;
A peck of pickled mangoes Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled mangoes,
Where’s the peck of pickled mangoes Peter Piper picked?
The funny thing is, how can you “pick a peck” of pickled mangoes? I suppose out of the jar. He he.