Growing up, we were all fans of Mangoes – except my brother, but then his eating habits are beyond bad. I guess that’s to be expected since Mangos are the national fruit of the Philippines, my mother’s homeland. The little heathens that we were, we ate our mangos “uncivilized”. Mom would cut the top and bottom off the mango, stand it on end and slice the flesh away from the pit. Mom would then “dice” the flesh, taking care not to cut through to the tough skin. We turned the mango inside out and we would eat the yummy, sweet fruit right out of the skin. A civilized person, it seems, would slice along the skin and serve the cubes in a bowl. But hey – Mother Nature already provided the bowl – right? I love mangos! While mangos of the Mexican variety are more fibrous than their Asian counterparts, both are very sweet and juicy when fully ripe. An un-ripened mango is sour, more commonly found in chutney.
Jicama [HEE-ka-ma] is a tuberous root, similar in texture to a turnip, but with the crisp sweetness of an apple. When paired with a mango, the two make for a wonderful salad with just the right amount of snap. The best way to peel a Jamaica is to cut off both ends to create flat bottoms, then peel with a paring knife much like you would an apple. They can also be peeled with a vegetable peeler, but it’s a real pain and the tough skin will eventually dull your peeler.
I love this salad when serving some of our south of the border favorite food sensations. There’s something magical about the sweet flavor of mangoes to off-set the heat of a spicy dish. This delicious salad was also a featured as part of my Fiesta Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Mango and Jicama Salad
¾ Cup Jicama, peeled and Julianne cut
½ Cup Ripe Mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
½ Teaspoon Sugar
1 ½ Teaspoons Chopped Cilantro
¼ Teaspoon Salt
Dash of Pepper
Peel Jicama. Cut Julianne style. Place in a large bowl.
Peel Mango. Cut into chunks. Place in bowl with Jicama. Toss to blend the two.
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, sugar and chopped Cilantro. Toss to coat.
Season juice with salt and pepper. Pour lime juice mixture over Mango and Jicama salad.
Toss to mix well.
Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Best to serve when well-chilled.