How to Use Mango: 4 Creative Mango Ideas

With the sun shining through the windows of the EC office this afternoon, we sense that summer is on her way. Here in Chicago, we may be Lake Michigan folks, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t also looking forward to a taste of the tropics. ‘Tis the season for one of our favorite types of produce—stone fruits. Here in Illinois, peaches, plums, cherries and apricots are our natives, but our grocers also carry stone fruits from all over the world. Today, we celebrate, all the way from its origins in India and South Asia, the mango! We devised a handful of creative mango ideas for a National Mango Board happy hour. Each food station showcased how to use mango (all types) at varying stages of ripeness.

Types of Mangoes We Used

Green mangoes are essentially unripened. They have a much firmer constitution than their ripened counterparts and a taste more tangy and sour than sweet.

Ataulfo varieties are small and flat-ish, with an oblong shape and bright to pale yellow skin coloring. With little to no fibers, Ataulfos are sweet and creamy.

Haden mangoes may be one of the most recognizable to us, by their red-green coloring and round shape, and hail from here in the States (Florida).

Mango 4 Ways

Green Mango Noodle Salad

We wanted to take advantage of the lack of sweetness in green mangos and create a savory fruit dish. We spiralized our mango to give it a unique look and to make it easy for guests to eat with their eco-friendly bamboo forks. To complement the tangy taste of green mango, we dressed it with lime, a little spice and sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

Mango Gazpacho

We love fusing cultural foods, so a mango gazpacho was top of mind for us. Gazpacho is cold soup with Andalusian origins that’s considered a classic spanish dish. While it’s typically prepared by blending raw Spanish vegetables, we used raw Asian fruit. Because Ataulfos are already the naturally creamy and fiberless, they were the perfect choice for our mango gazpacho, served in small shooters.

Shrimp-Mango Shooters

As Bubba of Forrest Gump famously quipped, “Shrimp are the fruit of the sea.” Like mango, high-quality shrimp is a tropical find—pairing the two together makes perfect sense! We started our shooter with a layer of ripe mango puree, seasoned with lime and a pinch of salt. We wanted our shrimp to contrast the mango in texture and flavor, so we seasoned generously with zesty spices before grilling and skewering. At the top of each skewer, we added a single cube of sweet, juicy, ripe mango.

Grilled Mango Ice Cream

What better summer sight is there than a grill heating up as the day winds down? We love grilling fruits—the warmth adds new texture and dimension, we can season liberally and those signature blackened grill marks? *Chef’s kiss* Gorgeous! For dessert, we paired grilled mango slices (thick, so that they hold their shape as they heat) with a classic housemade vanilla bean ice cream. To add an extra oomph to this indulgent mango dish, we added a spicy rum glaze. Keeping with the tropical theme, we served dessert on a bamboo bowl.

Want more mango ideas? Check out our Mangolicious mocktail and other non-alcoholic cocktails here!