Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mango Salsa!

Oh, I am so excited to share this recipe with you!  This is a tested recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, with my own little twist.  Chips and salsa is one of my favorite snacks.  It's low-cal, no fat, full of fiber and vitamins, and tasty.  I have been seeing more mangoes (which are typically in season in Mexico in early Spring) at various places so I thought I'd try a fun mango salsa.

Since I began this blog, I have gone back and forth between using tested recipes from trusted sources, as well as creating my own recipes.  Because I have never worked with mangoes for canning, I felt like I should do a little research.  Turns out, you can't simply take your own favorite recipe and can it, especially with mangoes.  They are low acid fruit and require the right amount of acidic ingredients (lemon juice or vinegar) to make it safe for canning.  Also, you need to use unripe mangoes (green, tough to the touch) to ensure there won't be any bacterial growth in your final product.  For a great resource on canning with mangoes and some other fun recipes, click here:  National Center for Home Food Preservation's Sensational Salsas

Since I have my own ideas of what should be in a mango salsa, I decided to use this trusted recipe, and then added my own embellishments after I canned it and was ready to eat.

For this recipe, you're going to need a water bath canner, jar grip, 6 half pint jars, and a slotted mixing spoon.

Cilantro Mango Salsa

6 cups diced unripe mango (about 3 to 4 large, hard green mangoes)*
1½ cups diced red bell pepper
 ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1 cup light brown sugar
1¼ cups cider vinegar (5 percent)
½ cup water
*sprinkle of black pepper (not in original recipe, but I think it tastes better!)

Caution:  Handling green mangoes may irritate the skin of some people in the same way as poison ivy. (They belong to the same plant family.) To avoid this reaction, wear plastic or rubber gloves while working with raw green mango. Do not touch your face, lips or eyes after touching or cutting raw green mangoes until all traces are washed away.

Procedure:  Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.  Wash all produce well. Peel and chop mango into ½-inch cubes.  *For instructions on an easy way to dice your mangoes, scroll to bottom of this post.

Dice bell pepper into ½-inch pieces. Finely chop yellow onions.  Hot Pack: Combine all ingredients in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to simmering, and simmer 5 minutes. 

Fill hot solids into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace.  Cover with hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

After sealing:  Once you are ready to eat your salsa, you can add ingredients fresh.  For one jar, I added the following:
1/2 c. chopped , fresh cilantro
Light sprinkle of salt
Light sprinkle of black pepper
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
Serve with tortilla chips

A touch of green from the cilantro and a few black pepper specks not only provides additional flavor, but also add a contrast in color to make it more visually appealing.

Slicing & Dicing Mangoes

Peeling mangoes can be a bit of a pain, but the reward is high.  I love mangoes, so it's worth it!  This is a method I've found to be easiest for me, although I would love to hear if you have a better way.  I've never been able to the "flower" method...so don't tell me that way, teehee.  First, I peel the mangoes with a potato/carrot peeler.  It comes off quite easily, in smooth, long strips.

Then, I chop off the very bottom so that it is flat.  This allows you to stand the mango on end without it wobbling on your cutting board.

Next, I slice long slices from top to bottom, working around the seed.  I find it difficult at times to know where exactly the seed is, but if there is no give for your knife, chances are that is the seed.  I get as much flesh as possible without getting tough "bone" or stringy flesh.

At this point, I lay the strips flat on the cutting board, julienne in 1/4" strips, then turn to dice.  The NCHFP recipe says to cut the mango in 1/2" cubes, I did quarter inch.  I don't know about you, but I don't want giant pieces in my salsa.  1/4" dices are perfect for dipping.  xo, AB


  1. You need a mango deseeder. I love mine!

  2. I was skeptical, now I'll try a mango deseeder for sure!