Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mango in Heat

It’s hard to imagine summer is merely two weeks away, especially with the weather we’ve been having lately—lots of rain and cooler temperatures that barely even reach the average for the time of year. But my frequent trips to the market tell me otherwise when I’m greeted by new produce that become in season.

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There are two produce stands that stand in prime location on the left front entrance to St. Lawrence Market. I often enter the market using these doors just so I can be greeted by the colourful displays of fruits and vegetables, laid out all in their glory to tempt customers. Who can walk by juicy red strawberries, rich purple eggplants or vibrant green lettuces without stopping just to take a look? I was especially giddy when I spotted the lovely mango display right beside the door last week: huge, larger-than-my-hand mangoes that were practically screaming, “BUY ME!”

So I caved and bought them. I’m used to eating the smaller varieties grown in Thailand or China, so lugging home three huge mangoes (of the Haden variety) was a bit daunting. I knew that at first sight though, one of those mangoes would be put to use in a stir-fry.

I ended up doing a Thai treatment, making a stir-fry of asparagus, red peppers, mango, shrimp and Thai red curry paste. The sweetness of the mango cuts through the slight heat of the red curry. If mangoes aren’t your thing, this stir-fry can work just as well with some fresh pineapple or lychees (it’s all about playing with the sweet/spicy/savoury flavour combination), and you can replace the shrimp and vegetables with whatever you like. If you like it extra spicy, throw in some extra Thai peppers. I added some fresh basil and cilantro at the end, and served with steamed rice. A quick fix for dinner, this can also be a cheater’s approach to satisfying one’s Thai curry craving.

I still have two mangoes sitting in the fridge. Not too sure yet what I’ll do with them, but I foresee mango lassi and mango muffins in the works…

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Red Curry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry
Serves 2

15 to 20 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 large mango, cut into bite-size cubes
1 red pepper, sliced
8 to 10 asparagus spears, stalky ends removed and cut into 1½ -inch pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
½ tbsp rice vinegar
½ tbsp light soy sauce
Handful Thai basil or regular basil, larger leaves ripped
Handful cilantro, chopped
Black pepper, to taste

Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Place in a small bowl, and marinate with the cooking wine, salt, black pepper and cornstarch. Stir and set aside for 15 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the shrimp and stir around wok for 2 minutes, until the shrimp begin turning pink but is not cooked through yet. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions into the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant (if pan appears to be a little dry, add a bit of vegetable oil). Add red peppers and asparagus, stir, cover wok with lid and let cook for 1 minute.

Remove lid and add mango pieces. Mix 2 tablespoons of water with the curry paste to loosen it, and pour over the contents of the wok. Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce and stir to combine. Add the shrimp; toss to combine and let cook for 1 minute more, or until shrimp is cooked through. Turn off heat and add the herbs. Season with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately with steamed rice.


Suzanne Gardner June 15, 2009 at 5:25 p.m.  

Looks delicious, B! Speaking of the market, we should have a lunch date there again soon! And speaking of mangoes, definitely do make muffins! I have a delicious Tropical Mango Muffins recipe I can pass along to you!

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