When you want a chile with a distinctive flavor and a blast of heat, the habanero is an obvious choice. It has roots in the Caribbean, which includes the Yucatán region of Mexico, hence the flavor of habaneros has tropical overtones that perfectly complement fruit like mangoes and bananas. A little goes a long way— despite its diminutive size, it is the hottest of all chiles commonly available in the United States and Mexico. This mango-banana salsa makes a great condiment for pork, chicken, or fish—particularly the Baja-Style Tempura Fish Tacos.–Mark Miller
LC Who Would Have Thunk It? Note
This perhaps odd-sounding mango-banana salsa serves up stunning results. It’s the sleeper salsa recipe of the season. Trust us. Or don’t and try it yourself—on just about anything, even just good old tortilla chips.
- 2 large ripe mangoes cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium ripe bananas cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) dice (about 1 cup)
- 1 red habanero chile seeded and minced
- 1 sweet red bell pepper cored, seeded, and cut into 1/8 inch (3 mm) dice
- Leaves from 1 large handful cilantro sprigs finely chopped
- 1/2 to 1 small red onion cut into 1/8 inch (3 mm) dice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt
- To make the mango-banana salsa, in a large bowl mix together the mangoes, bananas, chile, pepper, cilantro, onion, and lime juice. Season the salsa with salt, give another toss, and check to see if it needs a pinch more. Frankly, it’s best to serve the salsa immediately for the freshest flavor. But if you must, you can also cover and refrigerate it 1 to 3 hours ahead. Just make sure to give it a good stir before serving.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This Banana Mango Salsa is a joy to discover! The bright, contrasting colours are very striking, and the fresh fruit and vegetable aromas have quite the allure. Once you taste this, jarred salsas will be off of your grocery list. It’s great for garnishing your favourite fish or vegetable dishes, and for dipping with chips. I did get rather irked when the author stopped providing measurement equivalents partway through the ingredients list. The habanero came to about 1 teaspoon after stemming, seeding and mincing. I would think that you could process each ingredient, very roughly, in a processor and achieve very similar results. It may not be so pretty, but the flavours would be there, and a lot of prep time would be saved.
Originally published September 08, 2010