All year, I’m on a mission to create food that is purely brunch-inspired. Really, brunch can mean anything, including those dishes that are savory and spicy. And these grilled chili mangoes are precisely what I’ve been craving. One time at a local farmer’s market, I saw fellow shoppers walking around with an entire mango on a stick. They looked so refreshing, so I just had to find them. Once I tracked down the vendor, the best surprise was the spices sprinkled all over the top, just slightly spicy with flavors of chili and lime. The combination of sweet, juicy mango with a bit of kick created a mouthwatering treat. I was hooked and knew I had to recreate it in my own kitchen.
Mangoes are a treat in and of themselves. The ripe fruit is super sweet, so it’s the perfect addition to salsas, smoothies, and even blended into salad dressings – believe me, just try it!
Usually, the only time-consuming part of preparing a mango is cutting it from the inner pit. A lot of fruit have pits, but most are easy to remove. Take a peach for example: you simply slice around the perimeter, then twist and remove the pit. So simple! Mango is not so easy because the pit can’t be twisted to remove. Instead, the fruit needs to be cut off.
The easiest way to get rid of a mango pit is to peel the fruit first. Next, stand the mango upright and cut along the pit. As you begin to cut, you’ll feel the pit with the knife and know exactly where to cut. If there’s too much resistance, you’re cutting into the pit and need to move out into the fleshy part of the fruit. Once both sides of the fruit are cut, there will be extra bits of fruit clinging to the pit. This part is super hard to cut off nicely (and probably dangerous with a knife), so I like to eat it right off the pit.
Once the fruit is peeled and cut, all you need is a bit of seasoning. Not that fruit necessarily needs anything to make it better, but I do like to play around with flavor combinations. The super sweet mango pairs well with a little spice. In this instance, some cayenne (only a bit!), chili powder, and even some lime.
What I love about this is that when sweet is paired with something spicy, the sweetness overpowers the heat, leaving the flavor to be enjoyed.
To give the mangoes even more flavor, I opted to grill them. Besides being just beautiful, and part of eating is definitely the sense of sight, the heat gives a charbroiled flavor that’s a welcome
I just can’t say it enough: these chili mangoes are the perfect summertime way to enjoy a little spice in a new and exciting way! Give it a try and let me know if you love it too. Or… if you grill your own favorite fruit and add some spice, let me know in the comments so I can try it out too!
Watch how to make these chili mangoes:
Grilled Chili Mangoes
- 4 ripe mangoes
- 1 1/2 tbsp neutral oil, vegetable or safflower
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Heat grill on high.
- To prepare the mangoes, remove the mango peel using a vegetable peeler. Stand the peeled mango upright and slice off one side, keeping the knife close to the center pit. Repeat on the opposite side, creating two halves of fruit. Continue peeling and cutting mangoes until there are eight large pieces of fruit.
- Place two skewers into each fruit for stabilization and set on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and lime juice, turning and moving the fruit around to ensure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.
- Place the fruit over direct heat and grill until the mangoes are slightly charred, 8-12 minutes. Once the fruit has char marks, remove from the grill.
- To serve, sprinkle with lime zest and cilantro.