Thursday, June 30, 2016

Green Mango & Spicy Shrimp Paste, Fla. Style

It’s mango season again in South Florida. And that means Thai sour, unripe, green mangoes are available to satiate my Asian treat tooth.

Florida grown sour, green, unripe mango and spicy shrimp paste,
Copyright 2016 by Helen A Lockey
I spent part of my childhood in Thailand where I learned to love sour, spicy, salty food combinations. One that I picked up, and kept, was eating sour green mangoes with spicy shrimp paste.

Thai mangoes have several names, depending on the nursery that grows them, but basically they have a thin, wavy shape with green skin on the outside. Inside, their flesh ranges in color from slightly pale green to yellow.

Their flavor ranges from very tart lemon/granny smith apple taste to slightly tart. And their texture is crisp and juicy.

The shrimp paste has a strong fishy smell to it and is very spicy if eaten straight.

But sour, unripe, Thai mangoes have a very high starch content which equalizes the heat of the chili peppers in the shrimp paste.

I bought my mango at a Lantana fruit stand and shrimp paste (Ginisang Bagoong brand) at Kabayan Oriental Mart in Royal Palm Beach, Fla.

Both the salt and spice bring out the flavors of the mango, but it’s really the spice that matters. I’ve tried going non spicy but the flavors were not the same.

So if you are into adventurous food pairings then check out this one. I think you will be amazed at how well they go together.