Pickled Mango Recipe – Among many fruits, did you know that you can mango can be both a sweet and savory treat? Different Filipino recipes utilize sweet ingredients in savory dishes and vice versa include buko pancit and cassava cake. Now, how can mango be a savory treat? By making it into pickled mango. Pickled mango, locally known as burong mangga, is a Filipino side dish made by pickling almost ripe mangoes in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Green mangoes, which are nearly ripe, are ideal to use because they have the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness but are still crunchy to the bite. The pickling solution complements the fruit with its tangy-sweet flavor as well.
If you’re wondering why it’d be good to pickle mangoes, there are a few reasons. Pickling mangoes serves a dual purpose of preserving the fruit and reducing food waste. Pickling, a method used to extend the shelf life of various foods, involves immersing them in brine or acidic solutions to deter spoilage and bacterial growth.
In regions like Pampanga, Philippines, where mangoes are abundant during the summer season, this tradition has been a way to salvage immature mangoes that might otherwise go to waste. As time passed, the practice fell into obscurity, but it has experienced a resurgence in popularity, appealing to both the young and old as a delightful way to enjoy mangoes beyond the harvest season.
Pickled Mango (Burong Mangga)
- 3 large green unripe mangoes
- 1 ½ cups vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 Thai chili pepper (chopped and optional)
- Start by giving your jar and lids a good wash with warm, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly, and then, in a deep pot, place the jars and add enough hot water to cover them. Let them boil for about 10 minutes, and then remove them from the pot and let them drain.
- Now, let’s prep those mangoes. Peel them and then cut each mango on both sides to separate the cheeks. Slice each cheek into slivers that are about ½-inch thick.
- Take your sterilized jar and start arranging those beautiful green mango slices inside.
- If you like a bit of heat, go ahead and add the chopped Thai chili pepper.
- In a saucepan, it’s time to work on our brine. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Crank up the heat and bring this mixture to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.
- Now, carefully pour this sweet and tangy brine over the sliced green mangoes in your jar. Fill it up to within about ½ inch from the top. Give the jar a few gentle taps on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles, and if needed, top it off with more brine.
- Seal the jar up with a nice, tight-fitting lid. Let it cool down to room temperature, and then pop it in the refrigerator. Allow it to chill for roughly 48 hours before opening to let those fantastic flavors develop.
Other Notes for a Pickled Mango Recipe
For the best-pickled mangoes, start with fresh and good-quality fruit. Check them for any damage. Use green, unripe, and firm mangoes for the best taste and texture. Keep things clean by washing utensils and sterilizing jars with tight lids. Use vinegar with 5% acidity, like distilled white vinegar for a mild and non-discoloring flavor, or apple cider vinegar for a hint of fruitiness (it may darken light mangoes). Choose Kosher or canning salt, not iodized table salt, which can cloud the liquid. Add extra flavor with herbs and spices like garlic, chili peppers, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns, fresh dill, or dried plums. Make sure the mango slices are fully covered in the brine, adjusting it based on jar size.
Serving and Storing the Dish
Pickled mangoes are versatile and bring a sweet and tangy taste. They’re great as a snack or condiment, especially with barbecued meats, grilled seafood, sandwiches, and flavorful dishes like curries or adobo. For storage, it’s best to keep them in the fridge to stay fresh and safe. Refrigeration, along with vinegar, prevents harmful bacteria growth, yeast, and mold. This recipe is a quick refrigerator pickle, meant for fridge storage. If you want to store unopened jars at room temperature, follow canning guidelines.