I have always considered the addition of fruits into savoury dishes a delicate matter and approached the new combinations very cautiously. The results can be extraordinary, but I have already had awful experience with certain fruits, such as the pineapple (pineapple on a pizza or in a mayonnaise salad is simply not my thing). As much as I love mango in hot sauces (I preserve dozens of jars of hot mango sauce every year), I had serious reservations to include them raw into savoury dishes. Finally, the numerous tempting mango salads I kept on seeing on my favourite blogs convinced me (thank you my dear friends!) and last Saturday I prepared my very first savoury salad with mango. I shouldn’t boast, but this salad was sensational and, needless to say, has totally convinced me to keep on experimenting mango’s savoury potential.
I haven’t followed any recipe but simply my cravings. I wanted a refreshing, light salad with chicken (which frankly I crave quite often). I ended up with the ubiquitous cucumber of course, added some mango, stir-fried chicken breast, red onion to counterbalance the mango’s sweetness, some chili to give the salad a hot kick and coriander… because somehow it seemed right. I was surprised that the sweetness of mango wasn’t as overwhelming as I feared and its relative softness added an interesting combination of texture with the crunchy cucumber. I loved this salad so much, I prepared it twice in two days and I already feel it will be my summer staple. If you have never included mango in savoury salads, the summer heat is the best moment to experiment.
TIPS: I suppose this salad would be extraordinary if prepared with green tangy mango, but since I had only yellow sweet mangoes, I used these.
I stir-fried the chicken breasts, but leftover roast chicken would be perfect here too.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):
2 small chicken breasts
2/3 of a long cucumber
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 big firm mango (it shouldn’t be too ripe or soft)
1 medium red onion
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, chili in powder or fresh (I used medium hot Korean chili powder)
Cut up the chicken breasts into small, bite-sized pieces.
Season them with salt and stir fry with garlic on medium heat.
Pour the lime juice and the olive oil into a big bowl.
Add the chili and the salt.
Cut up the mango and the cucumber and put into the bowl.
Add the chicken, the chopped coriander.
Mix everything, check the taste and rectify the seasoning if needed.
Serve with crunchy bread and butter.