Monday, April 19, 2010

Mi Favoreet Foood Ees Mango

My life has been laced with mangoes.  My most endearing mango-related memory took place the year I took off between college and medical school.  Before I left for Chile, I worked odd jobs including a daily volunteer job teaching adult Mexican immigrants English. 

The class was designed to teach these vibrant adults survival English.  We taught them their addresses, the different coins and money, body parts and the doctor’s office, how to take the bus, and how to navigate the grocery store.  One of the sentences we taught the students to say was “my favorite food is” and had them fill in the blank.   Invariably, every person would say “mi favoreet foodd ees…mango” regardless of how many other food words we taught them.

Well, can you blame them?  Mango is one of the most addictive foods I have ever encountered.  When my family lived in Asia when I was in junior high, my dad used to bring the most amazing mangoes back from the Philippines by the dozens, and we would heartily devour them.  Those Philippine mangoes are the best ones and they come dried and pre-packaged by the kilo at Costco.  I can only keep the bag around for about one day, and for the sake of my tummy and my blood sugar, I only buy them about once a year.

Since I’m done with medical school and on vacation until I start residency, I’ve decided to screw science for this post and just give you a recipe for yummy mango fried rice.   I’m sure mangoes have amazing scientific, nutritional and genetic properties, but I just think they taste really good.  So there!

The trick to mango fried rice is to use slightly under-ripe mangoes.  They are tart and cook up to be tender, with the slightest bit of sweetness.  This recipe balances tartness, sweetness, spiciness and saltiness and has lots of veggies.

Mango Fried Rice

1 lb pork loin finely chopped (optional) you could also use chicken, shrimp, tofu...or nothing
3 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 under-ripe mango cubed
3 scallions sliced into ½ inch pieces
4 cloves garlic smashed
1 large shallot diced
¾ cup green beans cut into ½ inch pieces
1 carrot diced
1 inch of gingerroot peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro chopped
1-2 red finger peppers sliced with seeds (depending on spice level desired)
1 egg
4 cups cooked jasmine rice
Juice of one large lime
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
¼ cup cashews toasted and ground

In separate glass, combine lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and oyster sauce.  With wok or large cast iron skillet, preheat 1 tbsp oil over high heat.  When oil is smoking, add pork and cook until pink is gone.  Remove pork and juices onto plate.  Add another 2 tbsp oil and allow to reach smoking heat again.  Add mango, scallions, garlic, shallot, green beans, ginger, carrot, red pepper and cilantro and cook, stirring frequently until green beans are slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  Add about ¼ of the soy mixture and stir.  Add egg and scramble.  Add pork and allow to reheat throughout.  Add rice and incorporate.  Add rest of soy mixture.  Stir until rice is hot and has started to brown on sides.  Put in bowl or on plate, and add cashews to the top.  Enjoy!


  1. I love this post! I am currently a third year medical student... so I can relate to a lot of what you blog about. In regard to this particular post... I also took some time during my undergraduate years to teach English. I went to Thailand and lived with a host family. It was wonderful! It was my first introduction to what a REAL mango should taste like! I wrote about it here:

    Check it out if you are interested. By the way... I love your blog! :grin:

  2. Very nice Veggie Lady! Sounds like an amazing experience. Hope you're getting through third year ok. It kind of sucks. 4th year is much better!

  3. Yum! The best mango I ever had was picked off a tree in Managua. I haven't found the ones in the States to be as good, although I enjoy a nice mango salsa.

    The recipe looks very yummy--perhaps I can adapt it to reduce the carbs.


  4. I'm loving all of these mango memories! Pissed Off Patient, if you want to do low carb, just cut out the rice (and maybe half the sugar and soy in the sauce). It would be great just as a stir fry.

  5. Dried mangoes from Costco in the 1 pound bag are the bomb. Put em in the fridge so they are really cold and the sugar crystallizes on the outside of each piece. So good.

  6. I love mangoes! I grew up with a mango tree. Here is my recipe for salmon with warm mango salsa. There is a picture of the cool way I learned to cube a mango.