I bought a mango this morning that seemed to be ripe; at least it was the ripest of the bunch. I'm somewhat acquainted with picking out red/green mangoes, but this was my first exposure to yellow mangoes, and I apparently chose poorly.

After slicing up the whole thing, I realized my mistake, and as it is, the fruit is so sour it is inedible.

If it were a lesser fruit (say, a nectarine), I might just toss it, but I'm trying to be resourceful, and mangoes are not inexpensive around here, so I'd like to make use of it. What uses are there for an underripe mango? I thought of simmering it with milk and a little sugar, but I can only guess as to how how things would turn out.

5 Answers 5


If you simmer milk with acid, the milk will curdle. I wouldn't go this way.

If you insist on a sweet application, you have to add sugar (or another sweetener) to the mango. A sweet taste will cover acidity perfectly. You can either cook it with sugar syrup, or macerate it. After that, pureeing is probably best, because you want to avoid hard sour pieces in sweet sauce. From then on, your fantasy is the limit. Jam (maybe in combination with another fruit - how about that nectarine and some Grand Marnier?), sorbet, candy, yogurt-based smoothie, jello in molds or as a cake layer, mixing with cheese to create a spread or a mango cheesecake - everything is possible. The taste, however, will be less than optimal, because unripe fruit is not only sour, it doesn't have yet its full aroma. Still, it will work - not as well as a ripe mango, but it will be OK.

Sweet isn't the only option. The classic use for an unripe mango is to put its sourness to good use and prepare a mango chutney. Again, you can stay traditional and make it pure, or experiment with additional fruit and spice combinations. Then use the chutney as a dip or sauce in savory dishes.

  • I ended up making a mango and onion chutney, and it was quite tasty. Out of curiosity, I dropped a small chunk of the fruit into a little milk, and the whole volume curdled in seconds. I feel silly for not even thinking of the milk+acid combination being an issue.
    – Ray
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 18:24

If you have a WHOLE, UNCUT green mango, you can ripen it on the counter. To speed this process, the mango may be place in a paper or partially-sealed plastic bag; this will help retain the ethylene gas fruits emit, which speeds ripening.

Once cut, you'll have to put your mango to use. Fortunately, green mangoes are a prized part of Southeast-Asian cooking, where their tartness is used to add tang to savory dishes! In this use, green mangoes are often combined with salt, chili peppers, sometimes lime juice, and sometimes soy or fish sauces. Coconut milk is another common flavor combination, for example coconut rice topped with green mango preserves.

In particular, Thai cuisine makes an extensive use of green mangoes. For an example, look at this green mango salad recipe. In India, they may be sliced and topped with salt and lime juice, or pickled, or incorporated into a delicious green mango chutney. Indians also grind dried green mango into amchur, a sour powder used in curries and other dishes.

Central American cuisine also includes green mangoes, and they serve it sliced with salt, vinegar, pepper, and hot sauce. Topping with toasted pumpkin seeds is also common.

:Edit: The one common thread here is that green mangoes are generally used in savory, not sweet dishes. This is because the flavor of under-ripe mango is quite different from that of ripe ones. This different flavor works best with salty and spicy combinations, with (brown) sugar as a secondary, background note, not as a dominant flavor. I would particularly discourage combining green mango with milk, unless you want the acid to curdle it into curds and whey.

  • Would the fruit not decompose since it's already been sliced?
    – Ray
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 17:44
  • Yes, it would. Let me make it clearer that I'm talking about whole, uncut mangoes... once cut, you'll have to use it in one of the other ways. Personally, slicing with salt, lime juice, and chili powder sounds quite appealing to me. Answer edited to be clearer.
    – BobMcGee
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 17:46
  • I'd be making an Indian mango chutney as BobMcGee listed on the second paragraph. Don't need to wait for it ripening. Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 0:24
  • I vote for the Thai mango salad or Indian mango pickle.. :)
    – notthetup
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 14:27

In India raw mango is used to make a delicious one-of-kind spicy, savory cold drink, with just enough sweet. It’s called ‘panna’. In a variant of it the same is made with the pulp of a roasted/burnt green mango. You can search online for the recipes.


If your mango is green and still yet hard, take the skin off, cut out the seed and cut into bite size pieces. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup soy sauce (aloha Shoyu works for me), 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. Mix that around a bit. Place mango in bowl and have a taste. This is what you call pickled mango. Something like li hing Mui but I believe better. Try it.


1) IF you are into curry, you can make a sweetened mango curry which tastes amazing with Parathas (Indian pan fried bread) or even Roti for that matter. http://foodviva.com/chutney-raita-recipes/aam-ki-launji/

2) IF you are into thai food, make a mango salad: http://www.rakskitchen.net/2015/03/thai-green-mango-salad-recipe-vegetarian.html

3) Chop it and freeze it. Buy some good ripe sweet mangoes - then mix the ripe ones with raw one to make a mango milk shake. Add sugar to cover for the raw one's sourness.

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