Growing up in Hawaii, my family had a huge mango tree in the backyard. That meant summers of endless mangos and mango bread until the next summer made with fruit that had been over-ripe and frozen. I’m spoiled when it comes to mangos. No mango will ever be as sweet or as delicious as the ones I grew up eating. Despite that, I still purchase and enjoy the fruit.
If you’ve never had mango salsa, you need to try it at least once. I never tried it until I was an adult and that was at a restaurant. It’s delicious and a wonderful mixture of sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s really easy to make at home too.
When picking the mango for your salsa, it’s really up to what you like. If you prefer a softer, sweeter, more ripe mango, then that’s what you should purchase. For me, I prefer mangos that are firmer, a bit more under-ripe, and with very little give when gently squeezed. The texture pairs well with the other vegetables in the salsa and there’s a slight tartness to the fruit that you can’t duplicate with other ingredients.
As for fresh jalapeno, I’ve found that cutting off a piece of the pepper and tasting it will help you determine if you should remove the seeds and veins (since that’s where the spice is) or to keep them in. Sometimes these peppers are really hot, sometimes they’re not. Plus, some people like just a little kick, some people like a lot.
Cucumbers add a nice refreshing crunch to this salsa. I always buy hot house cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, English cucumbers, or Japanese cucumbers. They’re a bit more pricey, but you can keep the beautiful green skins on them. If they’re not affordable for you, then you can use a regular cucumber instead – just peel the waxy and often bitter skin off first.
Pixie’s Mango Salsa
- 2 mangos, diced.
- ¼ of a small red onion, diced fine.
- ¼ of a red sweet bell pepper, diced fine.
- 1/3 of a cucumber (or one Persian cucumber), diced.
- 1 jalapeno, diced fine.
- Salt to taste (I used three pinches of kosher salt).
- Black pepper to taste.
You just put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir it well, and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for all the flavors to meld together.
Some recipes have cilantro, I omitted it because I’m not fond of it. Some also call for some lemon or lime juice. I didn’t use any since the mangos I pick tend to have a bit of tartness to them from being under ripe. If you don’t like any of the veggies above, or want to add more than the recipe calls for – go for it! This recipe is really flexible and is easy to change to fit your tastes and likes.
This mango salsa pairs exceptionally well with grilled seafood or chicken. It’s also delicious with corn chips. Just keep in mind what you’re eating it with when adding salt.