How to cut a mango in under 30 seconds

In New York, every summer the “mango ladies” are out in full force. They’re located downtown, mainly around Union Square and on Broadway. Each woman has a little shopping cart that’s been set up with a makeshift table and it’s amazing to watch them cut a mango in less than 30 seconds. If you want, you can season your mango slices with hot sauce, artificial lemon juice or chili salt. The mangoes are either the Tommy Atkins or Kent variety –not Ataulfo my personal favorite. Still it’s a great healthy snack, rich in beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s an unexpected taste of the tropics.

Even if you can’t swing by and enjoy the mango performance art you should take advantage of mango season—the good mangoes will be gone in a few weeks. It’s easy to cut a mango and stir-fry Hong Kong-Style Mango Ginger Chicken for dinner. The recipe is one of my favorites from “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge.” Recently one of our Wok Wednesdays members Sharlene Mendoza McNeish posted this photo using Maui mangoes.

Hong Kong-Style Mango Ginger  Chicken

This recipe calls for “velveting” the chicken. This is a special stir-fry technique that keeps the chicken moist and tender. The chicken is briefly marinated in egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, and salt, and blanched in simmering water before stir-frying. After blanching shake out all the excess water before stir-frying.

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch thick bite-size slices
2 tablespoons egg white, lightly beaten
2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons Shao Xing rice wine or dry sherry
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 medium green bell pepper, julinenned (1 ¾ cups)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (3/4 cup)

1. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, egg white, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoon of the rice wine, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir until the cornstarch is totally dissolved and no clumps are visible. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and stir to combine. Put the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In a small bowl combine the broth, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, the remaining 2 teaspoons rice wine and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan bring 1 quart water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low. When the water is barely simmering carefully add the chicken gently stirring it so that the pieces do not clump together. Cook 1 minute or until the chicken just turns opaque but is not cooked through. Carefully drain the chicken in a colander shaking the colander to remove any excess water.
3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the wok, add the ginger, and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Add the bell pepper, onion, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the bell peppers are almost crisp-tender. Add the chicken and sprinkle on the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bestir the broth mixture, swirl it into the wok, and stir-fry 1 minute or until the chicken is just cooked through. Stir in the mango. The mango does not need to be cooked–just gently warmed. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

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