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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Mango

Pomai’s Pickled Mango with Li Hing Mui

Not only will it twist your tongue, but cause it to salivate as well.

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…

Shibata mangoes

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.

Pickled Mango

• 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…

Pirie (the two on the left side, and 1 big Shibata mango, ripe

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.

19 thoughts on “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Mango

  • August 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Sluuuurrrp!, my mouth was watering just reading the page title. Sample some Cuz!

    With no mangoes on hand, I had a nice ripe Maui Gold Pineapple and some li hing powder. Wasn’t the same thing but hit the spot. Hope to sample some on Monday.

    Diner A

  • August 16, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I make mango leather with the bumper crop of mangos every year and mango salsa, and mango gucamole. Got an big avocado tree always too avocado and lime tree also which I use Hawaiian pepper from my yard too.

    I enjoy pickled mangos very much and mango chutney with curry too.

  • August 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Ooo What a way to go in using those mangos. Mango chutney sound really good with spicy curry right now. I got to make some .

  • August 17, 2008 at 12:33 am

    It great to have a avocado tree. It must be the round type I have seen in some people yards. I use the pickled mangos choped up in salsa too for grill fish tacos Island style. Many things we can use mango for. I like mango sorbet too. My sister make mango stir fry shirmps.

  • August 17, 2008 at 12:45 am

    No worry Diner A, I going bring one big jar fo’ buss’ out next week!

    Vickie, that Mango Guacamole sounds delicious! Costco sells an excellent Mango Peach Salsa; a really big container for just $5. Huge chunks of mango in it too!

    When you said Mango Leather, I wasn’t sure what that was. Come to find out it’s like a fruit roll-up. Sounds good too!

    Dana, my mother makes mango chutney every year as well. She still has quite a few jars from last year’s harvest. Personally I’m not a Mango Chutney fan, but with a good shrimp or lamb curry, it’s pretty a darned good delicious condiment.

    Shelly, speaking of Sorbet, Häagen-Dazs has an amazing Mango Sorbet. It tastes just like eating the real fruit, which is quite an accomplishment. I find most candies and other sweets named “Mango” hardly resemble what the real mango fruit tastes like — that Häagen-Dazs sorbet is a standout exception.

  • August 17, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Oh my goodness, you got me salivating.

    How can I get a jar of your mangoes?

  • August 17, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Your pickled mango pictures are making my mouth pucker up. My parents have a bunch of fruit trees and two macadamia nut trees in their yard, but sadly no mango trees.

  • August 17, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Now I know what to do with all these mangos. Mango tarts, jams and salsa with the pickled mangos. I will make sorbet now great for desserts. Chutney is good on ham also. With vegetables garden now I need an avocado tree and lime tree to have. I even made spring rolls with shrimps and mango in it too.

  • August 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Would you buy me a new keyboard after I finish drooling over it? :)

  • August 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    dang…that looks really good!

  • November 16, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Does anyone know the history behind Shibata Mangoes? I’m a Shibata and someone in my family told me that my grandfather discovered it? Is this true? I periodically google search “Shibata Mango” to no avail.

  • August 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    When I was much younger I lived in Florida and behind my apartment was a mango tree. I never ate one! I had no idea what they were or how to eat them, so I left them alone. I didn’t even know if they were edible fruits. Oh how I regret not using them, especially now that I am in the Northeast and they are more expensive. I may have to buy some though to make these delicious looking pickles. They would be excellent for bento!

  • November 1, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Don’t use food coloring unless it’s organic!

  • May 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I followed da recipe N da bugga iz da BOMB, my whole family loves it, TANX BRADDA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • January 31, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Do you ship to California?

    • January 31, 2016 at 10:18 am


      Jus’ follow da’ recipe and make your own. EASY, and way cheaper than having it shipped from Hawaii. I think most of the mangoes you folks get out there are from Mexico, which should work just fine for pickling.


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