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Mango trees can deliver embarrassment of riches


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POSTED: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

At this time of year, if you're lucky, you've got a mango tree or a friend with a mango tree, and you're happily supplied with sweet, juicy fruit. If you're too lucky — verging on unlucky — you've been inundated.

It's a love-hate consequence that chef Robert Trask knows well. The yard of his Wailuku childhood home had three common mango trees.

“;I hated summertime because every day you gotta rake all the leaves and the rotten mango,”; Trask recalls. “;And what happens when you pick rotten mango with your brother? Mango fight!”;

But the season also meant homemade mango seed, and green mango dipped in vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. So good that you'd eat so much — “;couple hours later you sick, yeah?”;

Love-hate.

Trask, owner of Hawaiian Culinary Consultants and president of the American Culinary Federation's Kona Kohala Chefs Association, shares his mango memories and tips for mango eating at Mango Festival 2009, Aug. 1 in Keauhou on the Big Island's Kona coast.

Trask is hosting a cooking demonstration at 10 a.m. at the Keauhou Farmers' Market at Keauhou Shopping Center. Other festival events include the Kona Mango Experience (with mango gifts and snacks, kids' activities and advice on mango growing) and a Mango-Inspired Dinner, both at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Cost is $10 for the Experience, $39.95 for the dinner.

It's the first-ever Kona mango showcase, presented by the nonprofit Sanctuary of Mana Ke'a Gardens. For those traveling from afar (farther than Hilo, for example), the resort is offering a mango package of $149 (single occupancy) or $199 (double), covering a one-night stay, admission to both events and breakfast the next day.

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Can't make it to Kona? Trask offers his best advice for cooking with mango: Keep it simple. Don't crowd out that natural mango flavor with too many other ingredients. “;Any time I use fruit or produce, that's my basic theme. The less ingredients, the better flavor comes through.”;

One of his favorite preparations is a mango salsa, for serving with grilled fish.

 

MANGO SWEET CHILI SALSA

1 cup mango, skinned and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded, in 1/2-inch dice

1/3 cup red onion, in 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons minced basil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in glass bowl; chill. Serve at room temperature with grilled chicken or fish. Makes about 1-3/4 cup.

Approximate nutritional information, per 1/2 cup serving: 70 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g sugar, no protein

Correction

Last week's recipe for Japanese-Style White Bread contained an error in the amount of lukewarm water used to make the dough. The correct amount is 2/3 cup (not 2-1/3 cup).

To anyone who tried the recipe already, I hope you followed the directions to add only enough water to make a sticky dough — and didn't end up with a waterlogged loaf. But it was a big difference in quantity. Sorry.

———

Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S. Send queries to “;By Request,”; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).