I love mangoes and I love habaneros and for the first time ever I wanted to experiment with both ingredients at the same time. The result? A refreshing, spicy and chunky mango habanero salsa.
Summer is just around the corner. We have around 21C here in Dresden, Germany, with sunshine and gorgeous clear skies. Although it's just the beginning of April it's difficult to contain our excitement about the lockdown coming to an end soon. Or at least we hope we can once again be allowed to chill with beers by the river banks. But since it's sunny and gorgeous and we are celebrating new garden furniture, we decided to make a sort of light alfresco dinner served with refreshing salsa.
As mentioned before this is no ordinary salsa. Firstly, it's spicier than usual with potent habanero mixed with sweet mango. Secondly, you will notice there is no tomato in my mango habanero salsa. And finally, I do love a super chunky salsa so this one has proper bite sized ingredients in there. Don't worry, if you prefer smaller chunks, simply chop everything into smaller cubes.
What is salsa?
Salsa is the Spanish word for "sauce". As you appreciate, the recipe I have here is not a sauce, but the word salsa is sometimes used by English speakers for various recipes like salsa roja, salsa picante or salsa cruda.
My mango habanero salsa is basically an adaptation of salsa cruda or Pico de Gallo. The traditional fresh salsa (Pico de Gallo) is made from chopped tomato, onion, Serrano peppers (jalapeños or habaneros), with salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro. But there are now so many types of salsas, both traditional and nouveau, some are made with mint, pineapple, or mango. We wanted to replace the tomatoes with mangoes, the Serrano peppers with habanero and the onion with fresh chives. I used lemon juice and cilantro with a touch of salt. As an extra, I added corn, pepper and cucumber because I wanted our side salsa to be more filling and refreshing. You will love the result.
How to make mango habanero salsa?
This mango habanero salsa recipe is super versatile. As you can tell from the pictures I wanted it to be super chunky, but you can control how big or small you want the chunks to be. Depending on the season or the country you live in, you might not have access to fresh mangoes. You can also use frozen mangoes thawed. In fact, here in Germany, I noticed that frozen mangoes are actually tastier and sweeter than the fresh ones.
The next thing you can control is the level of spice. I must stress that habanero is a very spicy pepper. They are rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale. That's a lot. Essentially, even after touching the habanero you need to wash your hands really really well, especially if you touch your eyes, nose or lips. So I suggest starting with little habanero in your salsa, then adding more and more after you taste. The last thing you want is a super spicy salsa which becomes inedible.
For example, I love spicy food and I can easily eat a whole habanero in my salsa, but my husband has a hard time dealing with it. So most of the time I half the dish and make his a lot milder than mine. You can also do that for your guests as well or keep some extra finely chopped habanero on the side in case someone wants it spicier.
To make mango habanero salsa all you need is to gather your ingredients (mango, habanero, cucumber, corn, chives, cilantro, lemon juice, salt), chop them, toss them in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. That's all. Taste it, adjust the seasoning if needed and mix once more. It keeps well in the fridge for several days. Just make sure to keep it in an air tight container.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.