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Rapid Creek Market: green mangoes

They're green but perfectly ripe, sweet but sour – or just plain sweet. It’s the season for green mangoes, before the big yellow Kensington Pride and blushing R2E2 dominate the market, and our palates.

Mangoes that are mature when green have sweetness and tartness, without being starchy. They can be eaten on their own as a refreshing snack, sliced in salads or used in pickles and chutneys.

Stall holder Muy Keav is a commer- cial mango grower whose two green varieties, Elephant and Keow Savoey, provide fresh, contrasting flavours to Rapid Creek Market shoppers and foodies on the east coast, where she exports to.

Long, like an ivory tusk, the pale green Elephant “ is sour but not super-sour and is good for salad,” says Keav.

The smaller and greener Keow Savo- ey is “a little bit sweeter, crunchier with more aroma. When I mix it with the salad you can smell it with your mouth.”

Keav makes a mouth-watering Cambodian version of the ubiquitous paw paw salad using green mango. She uses a mix of both Elephant and Keow Savoey, small dried prawns and lots of fresh herbs, which she grows without pesticides on her Lambells Lagoon farm.

She also makes an Indian-style pick- le using crunchy Elephant mango, which she sells at the stall.

Green Elephant is a popular green eating mango in Vietnam, and is a refreshing snack.

Other green varieties to try at Rapid Creek Market are the sweet Falan and Nam Doc Mai, both Thai varieties, which turn yellow inside when fully ripe. The popular Nam Doc Mai is long and white-green, and is deli- cious when eaten sweet or sour.

Before the “big two” take over with their full-on dessert sweetness, get your fill of green mangoes – mar- inated, in salads, in green mango chutney or as a sweet and crunchy addition to rice paper rolls. 

Green Mango chutney recipe

1 Elephant mango
3 small sweet green-skinned mangoes like Keow Savoey
vegetable oil or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3cm of peeled ginger, grated1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 cup white wine vinegar 2 tsp garam masala
1 cup white sugar

This recipe for green mango chutney uses white sugar, white vinegar and a few spices to preserve the fruity flavour and bright yellow of the mango.

Slice the mango from the seed into thin but wide slices and set aside. Heat a sturdy large pot and soften onion in the oil. Stir in all the other ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn down low and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into hot sterilised jars and set aside to cool. Refrigerate once opened.


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