Picked when just mature, Thai sour mangoes are also known as "green mangoes." Mangoes grow at the ends of long stems on evergreen trees in sub-tropical and tropical regions around the globe. Thai sour mangoes are firm and can be oval or slightly kidney bean-shaped depending on the variety. The mangoes aren’t fully developed, so the seeds are small and thin, and the firm flesh is crisp. The flavor is sharply sour and can be slightly bitter due to concentrations of oxalic, citric, and other types of acids that aren’t present in a ripe mango. The skin of some varieties of raw mango contains oils that can be irritating to those who have a sensitivity to poison ivy or oak, which is a distant relative of the mango. However, those with sensitivities to the skin generally don’t experience any irritation from the flesh.
Thai sour mangoes are high in both vitamins C and B, far more than when they are fully ripe. Raw mango is high in pectin and starch, which eventually turns into glucose when the fruit is ripe. Mangoes contain healthy enzymes that are beneficial for digestion.
Thai sour mangoes can be used in a variety of ways. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the potentially irritating skin of the raw mango. To prepare the Thai sour mangoes, cut a small piece from the bottom, or beak, for stability while cutting. Find the seed in the center, and remove both halves around the stone. Specialized mango cutters or slicers are sometimes used to maximize the amount of flesh. Once the stone is removed, the flesh can be scored and removed from the skin. Diced Thai sour mangoes can be added to both hot and cold dishes. Mangoes are a good addition to marinades and, because of the different enzymes they contain, they are good tenderizing agents for steaks, poultry, or pork. Grate Thai sour mangoes for salads or slaws. Raw mangoes are used in a traditional Indian dish called pulusu, a soup cooked with drumsticks, curry leaves, tamarind and served over rice. Thai sour mangoes should be used before they begin to ripen, which can be up to five days when the fruit is kept at room temperature. Prepared fruit should be refrigerated and used within a day or two.
Thai sour mangoes are available year-round.