Recently, Top Chef featured a Quickfire challenge with a tie-in to the website,  a new-ish recipe site with an interface like Chow‘s that lets you easily bookmark your favorite recipes.  I’ve been browsing my way through the plethora of cooking sites out there, eagerly noting the small number of recipes on each that 1) are vegetarian but don’t involve mushrooms or tofu, and 2) contain things I can realistically make.  Since I’m constantly seeking new blogs and sites to read, I added it to my bookmarks.

One recipe I was happy to find there was chef Pichet Ong’s recipe for Mango Pudding.  It’s a Hong Kong-style dessert that uses sauteed fresh mangoes; I’d just bought mangoes and needed a recipe.  Not just any recipe, but one that doesn’t require a puree.  You see, I don’ t currently have a food processor or a blender or even a hand-mixer.  If I did, I’d have made a bunch of mango lassis.  This preparation reduces the mango pulp down to a jam-like syrupy consistency.  I recommend Alton Brown’s method of cutting mangoes.

This recipe makes quite a bit – it says 8, but it ended up being 10 with the size of the ramekins that we have. (Currently, our “ramekins” are teacups.)  I’ve also posted a variation on the Milk Chantilly recipe, adding Indian flavors to tie it in with a curry dinner I’d made.  Some spices would probably go very nicely in the pudding itself, too.

Mango Pudding


  • 6 mangoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (tip: How to Choose Mangoes at the Store)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp (1 packet) powdered gelatin
  • 3 Tbsp cold water
  • 4 C whipping cream


  • Put mangoes, lemon juice, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mangoes are very soft.
  • Add sugar and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping pan, until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, with a few chunks of mango remaining.  Do not let the sugar caramelize and get brown.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm temperature.
  • Dissolve the gelatin in 3 Tbsp cold water.  Mix it into the lukewarm mango mixture until it dissolves into the mixture.
  • Stir in the cream until well-incorporated.
  • Divide into ramekins.  Chill 3 hours.

Serve with Milk Chantilly:


  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • Whisk cream until soft peaks form
  • Fold in sweetened condensed milk and salt, and whisk again until medium-soft peaks form

Makes 2 Cups.

Here’s my improvised Cardamom Chantilly:   After adding the sweetened condensed milk and salt, add about 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, and a pinch of cinnamon if desired.  Continue whipping as instructed above.


I love mangoes and most things containing mangoes.  Loooove.  But I’ve really never purchased them to bring home and deal with.  They’re really messy and take forever to ripen.  But, having to buckle down and purchase fresh items to prepare, I had to find out how to choose good ones.

Excerpted and paraphrased from an article on E-How, here are some tips:

  • Mangoes should be bright red, yellow or orange (I see mostly red ones here).  They can be partly green; their softness and sweet fragrance are the best indicators of ripeness.  But don’t buy ones that are entirely green, because they will probably not fully ripen.  You can use green mangoes in certain savory dishes, like a vegetable, if you feel so inclined.
  • Avoid squishy spots, dark spots, and bruises.
  • Expect that they will take about six years to ripen.  Okay, not six years, but a good week.  Putting them in a paper bag will help them along, but it will still take a while.
  • The best mangoes are found in the summer.

And please, be careful when cutting mangoes.  When peeled, they can be a bit slippery and unwieldy.  If you’re going to work with a peeled mango, cut off the ends so you can stand it level on a cutting board.