Have a taste for mango?

By James Temple

I guess a lot of people have a taste for mango, because it’s the most popular fruit on the planet. India and China are the largest producers of mango, but Mexico is now the largest exporter of mangoes in the world. Mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide.

Molokai Haden Mango

Molokai Haden Mango

I believe that Hawaii has the best tasting mango. This beautiful tropical fruit tastes like a combination of the ripest melon mixed with Georgia peaches, with a touch of honey.

There are over 1,000 varieties of mango throughout the world. The most popular variety of mango in Hawaii, or at least in my kitchen, has to be Haden. Summer in Hawaii is mango season, so here are a few mango recipes for you to try:

Mango Limeade
1/2 cup fresh mango puree
juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice)
sugar to taste
1/5-2 cups of water or adjust as needed
crushed ice as needed

Add everything except ice in a pitcher and stir well. Refrigerate until serving. Add ice just before serving to avoid the limeade getting diluted. Makes 2 servings.

Coconut Prawns with Mango Sauce
Ingredients for coconut prawns:
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
canola oil for frying
24 large prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
24 small spinach leaves

Ingredients for mango sauce:
1 cup fresh mango chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lime juice
6 to 8 drops Sriracha sauce
to make the mango dipping sauce, place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Place the coconut, flour and egg in separate bowls. Dip the prawns in flour and shake off any excess. Dip in the egg, then in the coconut to coat.

Add oil to a wok to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat to 350°F over medium-high heat (when oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden in 15 seconds). Place one-third of the prawns in oil and cook for 3 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with remaining prawns, reheating wok between batches. Serve with spinach leaves and mango sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Steamed Coconut Custard with Mango
1-14 ounce can coconut cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 eggs
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large mango, cheeks removed, peeled, 1/4 inch dice
2 tablespoons brown sugar, extra
zest of 2 limes

Use a balloon whisk to whisk together the coconut cream, heavy cream, eggs and combined sugar in a large bowl.

Strain the cream mixture into a large measuring cup. Pour evenly among six 1/2-cup capacity ramekins.

Place a large bamboo steamer over a wok one-third filled with water and bring to the boil (make sure the base of the steamer doesn’t touch the water). Place the ramekins in the steamer and cover with a large piece of non-stick baking paper. Cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes or until the custard is just set. Remove from the steamer. Set aside to cool.

Place the mango, and extra brown sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.

To serve, top the custards with the mango mixture and sprinkle each with lime zest. Makes 6 servings.

Mango-Lime Bars
Ingredients for crust:
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 vanilla bean, split & seeded
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
Ingredients for filling:
6 large eggs
1 1/3 cups white granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups fresh mango puree (2-3 mangoes)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime Juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper.

To make the dough for the crust, combine the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, salt, lime zest, and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Then, add the cubes of cold butter and pulse to incorporate the butter. (The texture will still be crumbly, but the mixture should come together when you pinch it between your fingers)

Press the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake the crust at 350˚F for 18-20 minutes. Set the crust aside, and lower the oven temperature to 325˚F.

To make the filling, combine the eggs, sugar, mango, and lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour over the top of the mixture, then whisk to combine evenly. Pour the filling over the baked crust, then return the pan to the oven. Bake at 325˚F for 25-30 minutes. Before removing from the oven, the center should only be slightly jiggly, but mostly set, when you shift the pan.

Set the pan aside on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then chill the bars in the refrigerator until completely set.

Serve by sprinkling powdered sugar over the top and slicing into 16 equal-sized squares. Makes 16 servings.

Mango-Lime Marmalade
3 large mangoes (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cubed, with juice
zest and juice of 3 medium limes
2 1/4 pounds sugar
4-5, 8 ounce canning jars

Put cubed mangoes and lime zest with juice in large glass bowl. Cover with pierced plastic wrap. Cook in microwave on high for about 15 minutes. Remove and mash with a potato masher. Add sugar, cover and cook in microwave for another 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into clean, hot jars. Makes 4 to 5 jars. Note: No need to buy pectin! Limes are high in natural pectin and will help the jam to set.

Chef James Temple
is a retired chef, cookbook author, food blogger, golfer and family cook living on Molokai. He has a degree from the San Francisco Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu Program. His first job as a professional cook was at Hotel Molokai. Temple also opened Mango Mart Deli, managed the Lanikeha Commercial Kitchen and operated a specialty food store in Kaunakakai, Bamboo Pantry, for four years.

Over time, Temple learned a lot about the people of Molokai. “Cooking on Molokai is like living and cooking in any small town, except we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You learn to work with what you can get as far as food and many other things,” says Temple.

“It is my hope to share our food experiences here in the ‘Tasting Hawaii,’” said Temple. “Mahalo.”

Temple’s food columns can be found at www.tastinghawaii.com.