Marta from An Italian in the US is hosting this month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge, (originally started by Sara of I Like to Cook) and the theme is Spring Foods. I suppose you could pretty much put anything you want into that category, so long as you could justify it. I had a ripe mango on the counter so I knew that I would have to find a spring-like recipe that included mango. Quite frankly I was tempted to just put out a plate of sliced mango and call it quits because mango doesn’t need any accompaniment. It’s pretty perfect all on its own. But since I didn’t find “Sliced Mango” as a recipe in any of my books, and this is the Weekend Cookbook Challenge after all, I had to search a little harder. Eventually I found a Thai shrimp and mango appetizer that’s bright and fresh, just like spring. Most importantly though, I got to have my mango and eat it too. There wasn’t a bit of flesh left on the peel or the pit when I was finished with it. The fleshy centre went towards wrapping the shrimp, but the pit and peel were all mine. Mango eating is one of those messy tasks that you need to stand over the sink with your sleeves rolled up to accomplish. Even then, you can’t escape that drop of mango juice that will inevitably roll all the way down your arm, past your elbow and (hopefully) into the sink. It won’t be alone either, because after one drop of juice gets away, others will follow like sheep. Messy, yes, but sweet and smooth and wonderful just the same.
Mango Wrapped Thai Shrimp (Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, Summer 2002)
1lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 limes, zest and juice
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
2 African devil chilies, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T peanut oil
1 T fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
Combine all of the ingredients except the mango in a bowl and mix together. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Peel mango and then, using either a sharp peeler or knife, slice the entire mango into thin strips.
Heat up a nonstick frying pan over med-high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, add to the pan and fry until pink, 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Wrap a strip of mango around each shrimp and secure with a toothpick.