I'm taking a crack at a mango habanero hot sauce recipe I found, which calls for dried mango slices.
However, all of my friendly neighborhood grocery stores have the dried slices that have that crystallized sugar on them. I picked up a variety that claims to be "low sugar", but still taste fairly sugary.

Will mango that is sugared impact a hot sauce recipe (negatively) too much? If so, is there a "safe" way to remove the sugar?

Now, I'm definitely far from being even an amateur chef, so I could just have the perfect thing and not know it. Rather double check now then risk it and end up with a bad batch.

Ingredient list:

  • Habanero - 3
  • Ancho Pasilla - 1
  • Dried mango slices - 6
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar - 1 tsp
  • A "spice blend" - 1 Tbsp
  • Pinch o' salt

All ingredients soak for ~2 minutes, simmer for ~3, then are liquefied in a blender.

  • Does the recipe add any sugar at all?
    – Catija
    Mar 16, 2018 at 22:02
  • @Catija - Brown sugar Mar 16, 2018 at 22:12
  • Maybe posting the entire recipe would help? Also, is there crystallized sugar on the outside of these mangoes that could be rinsed off?
    – Catija
    Mar 16, 2018 at 22:13
  • @Catija - Edited ingredient list into the question. It's possible it could be rinsed off although I tested on one piece and it's bonded pretty well. Could rinse more vigorously, just didn't want to resort to that unless I had to in case it affected the flavor of the mango in any way. Mar 16, 2018 at 22:22
  • Amounts are pretty important, too... if it's a tsp of sugar vs a half cup... Also, the method. Are the mango slices soaked to allow them to reabsorb some moisture?
    – Catija
    Mar 16, 2018 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


If you don't have any other options, I'd go ahead and try it with a few minor adjustments. Keep in mind that recipes like this are really loose and based a lot on personal preference. If you don't think the mangoes are really sweet now, the spices may mask some of that, or the sweetness may dull some of the spice.

The ingredients you use will also greatly affect things, as peppers change spiciness by water content, for example, so at different times of year, this same recipe may turn out barely-noticeable spice or barely-bearable spice! Adjusting to the level of spice or sweetness is one of the complications and will require some testing to get it where you like it.

Try soaking the mango, alone, for two minutes in one cup of water - in your (two cup - assuming you have a standard sized one) measuring cup. Some of the surface sugar may soak off in that time, reducing the total impact. Put the mango in the pot you're going to use for the simmering phase. Now, see how much water is left in the measuring cup.

How much water the mango absorbs (which probably won't be a lot, but may be... I'm not sure) will affect how much water you use for soaking the rest of the ingredients.

  • If there's less than a cup of water remaining in the measuring cup, add that same amount of fresh water to the rest of your ingredients and let them soak for two minutes and finish the recipe.

  • If it's only absorbed a tiny amount, add the full cup of fresh water to the rest of the ingredients and let them also soak for two minutes and continue the recipe.

You may also consider omitting the brown sugar. There are many other flavors in the recipe, so the loss of it may not hurt.

When it's done, if you do think that it's too sweet, use an acid to tame the sweetness a bit. In this recipe, something like lime juice (try half a lime) may help without being too different. Mango and lime are pretty nicely complimentary flavors and both common to the region. There are even similar recipes out there that include lime. I haven't tried either of these, just showing that they exist.

  • Neat idea with taking the difference of soaking the slices! I'll have to give that a shot! I'll try the lime bit if it turns out this thing isn't supposed to have vinegar. Still have one of those lying around from some moscow mules... Mar 16, 2018 at 22:56

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