Mmm, mmm, mmmm. The combination of fresh mango, lime, and cilantro just screams summer. Food like this makes me want to kick off my shoes and go run through the sprinkler a few times. (I can’t tell you how glad I am…finally!…for the warmer weather.)
This salsa has a really good balance of flavors and textures.
It gets its sweetness from ripe mango, its tang from a healthy dose of lime juice, a little bite from fresh shallot and garlic, and some mellow heat from Aleppo chili flakes.
Aleppo chili flakes
The mango is smooth and soft, which is a great contrast to the crunch of crisp Asian pear. This salsa is great with chips�or as a cool, fresh topping for grilled chicken or pork.
What is an Asian pear?
Also known as apple pears, or Chinese pears, Asian pears have a mild and sweet flavor but are round like an apple. The peel can range from yellow-ish to green-ish, with white flesh inside. They’re super crisp and very, very juicy.
My favorite thing about Asian pears, however, is that they don’t oxidize when cut, so they won’t turn brown on you.
This makes them a lot more versatile in the kitchen. And it also means you don’t automatically have to coat them in lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.
Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
1 Asian pear, peeled and chopped
3 Tbls. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
juice from 1 medium lime
1 garlic clove, mashed
Makes about 2 cups of salsa, depending on the size of your fruit
Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear: How to cut up a mango
If you’re not sure how to do this, here are detailed instructions.
Mangoes are kind of a pain to cut up because they have a large, flat seed in the center. This is a pretty easy way of getting around it and getting the flesh out. Ripen an under-ripe mango just like you would an avocado�in a paper bag on the counter.
So…grab your mango and a big, sharp knife.
Slice down along one side of the stem, like this. If your knife hits the pit, just shift it over and try again.
You can kind of see the white pit peeking through on the left half, in the center.
Make a second cut on the other side of the stem.
You should wind up with three pieces of mango: two thick lobes, as well as the flat center piece that contains the seed.
Grab one of the side pieces. Score a checkerboard in the mango flesh, cutting all the way down until your knife touches the mango skin�but don’t cut through it.
Next, turn it inside out, so the pieces of mango stick out, like this.
Then set it on a board and push it down so it lays kind of flat. Run a sharp knife just above the skin, like this, to slice the pieces off.
Do the same with the other side of the mango.
Finally, cut off the mango around the pit.
This last part is kind of messy, imperfect business, but that’s just fine. You’re going to chop the mango up, anyway, so it doesn’t really matter if you wind up with neat pieces.
Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear: Chop, chop, chop!
When you’ve removed the flesh from the mango, roughly chop it up.
Next, peel your Asian pear with a peeler or a paring knife.
Cut it in half.
And then into quarters, removing the seeds just like you would with an apple.
Then chop it up into pieces roughly the same size as your mango.
Peel and dice your shallot.
And chop up your cilantro.
Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear: Assemble the salsa
Toss the mango, Asian pear, shallot, and cilantro into a medium-sized bowl.
Toss in the Aleppo chili.
Cut your lime in half and squeeze both pieces over the bowl.
Add the garlic.
And some kosher salt, to taste.
Mix the whole thing up really well to combine all the ingredients.
Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear: Serve & enjoy!
Serve immediately for a drier, chunkier salsa.
If you like, stick the salsa in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors meld. The salt will draw out some of the moisture from the mango and pear, making a wonderfully juicy salsa.
Totally up to you.