Mango habañero salsa (mangó salsita) is a tasty fusion of two popular Mexican dishes — tacos and salsa. Traditionally made from ripe red mangos that are cooked in lard or olive oil, it’s also served as an appetizer or snack item at fiestas, parties, picnics, and other celebrations throughout Mexico.
You can find a wide variety of fruit and veggie salsas on sale at supermarkets. For some reason, however, you might not see an assortment of mango habanero versions to choose from. This may be because they’re only available in specialty stores or online.
Or perhaps it could also be that mangoes are just as delicious without peppers! Regardless of your reasoning, we have a great homemade mango habanero salsa recipe for you today. You don’t need any exotic ingredients — all these recipes just take regular pantry staples. You’ll definitely impress your friends (and fellow salsa lovers) when you serve this one up alongside grilled chicken tacos or fish tacos.
The first step involves roasting your mango, but after that, the preparation will be much quicker! So read through our easy mango habanero recipe below. If you want more fruit-topping ideas, head over to our list of cool fruit toppings and other tasty snack combos. Don’t forget about those healthy snacks too.
What Is Mango Habanero Sauce Made Of?
When creating homemade mango habanero sauces, fresh fruits are used instead of canned items. The secret is the roasted flavor, which provides bolder heat than habaneros from the grocery store. There’s no added sugar either, so there’s nothing artificial about the flavor.
In addition to the natural flavors of each ingredient, the tomato paste brings out the sweetness of the mango. To get even more depth of flavor into your salsa, use dried tomatoes instead of tomato paste. Then adjust the amount to suit your preference.
Why Is Mango Paired With Habanero?
Despite being considered mild, habaneros do pack quite a wallop of spice. But if you add mango to the mix, things balance out nicely because mango has its own distinct sweet flavor. Plus, the combination gives you extra antioxidant benefits from the vitamin C and beta carotene contained within both fruits.
Of course, using raw habaneros would provide maximum spicy kick, but when making salsa, they’re typically cooked so that they release their flavorful oils and become less dangerous.
What Does Mango Habanero Taste Like?
The best way to describe how it tastes is sweet and savory. And although most people associate the word “hot” with pain, the habanero actually heats up your mouth rather than burning it.
It is thought to have originated in Mexico where it was originally known as chile de agua, meaning water chilli. The name changed during Spanish colonization, and then later the spelling was simplified to habañero.
That said, they still contain plenty of capsaicin, so keep an eye on your serving size.
Is Mango Habanero Really Hot?
Habanero peppers aren’t all created equal when it comes to spiciness. Some countries grow large crops while others rely heavily on imports.
Therefore, even though some brands can be hotter than others, many habaneros found in grocery stores are average in terms of power.
And since you’re likely going to buy them already prepared from a jar, it doesn’t matter what brand of habanero you purchase. They should have similar levels of intensity based on how long they were ripened.
For example, some brands of habaneros grown in Chile can range from 100,000 to 500,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). However, the SHUs of habaneros grown in Yucatán, Mexico vary dramatically depending on location.
In general, higher numbers indicate greater heat. A medium-sized habanao sold in the United States averages around 20,000 SHU. Other common names for habaneros include Scotch bonnet, Cubanelle, Congo Pepper, and Naga Sweet.
Mango Habanero Ingredients
1 ripe mango
2 small cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp finely diced red bell pepper
3 oz. thinly sliced red onions
1 medium sized clove garlic, pressed
Juice of ½ lime
Handful of cilantro
How To Make Mango Habanero Salsa
Now let’s learn the steps involved in preparing this delicious fruit topping salsa.
First, cut your peeled mango lengthwise into 8 wedges. Use a sharp knife to remove the flesh and core. Chop the remaining pieces into bite-size chunks. To save time, prepare everything ahead of time.
Store your red onion slices in separate plastic bags. Keep your garlic press handy too.
Place a heavy skillet onto high heat. When it begins to smoke, place two of the mango wedges in the pan.
Cook for 2 minutes per side until charred and slightly softened. Transfer the roasted mango to a bowl. Repeat with another two mango wedges. Remove your charred wedges and set aside.
Turn down the temperature of your skillet next to medium heat. Finally, return your burnt mango wedges to the skillet along with the remaining four wedges. Continue to cook for 2 minutes per side.
Once everything is heated through, transfer the contents back to the bowl of the roasted mango wedges. Toss together gently and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Tips To Chop Your Habanero Pepper
To avoid tears and irritation, hold the tip of a paring knife parallel to the cutting board and move your hand upwards towards your face. Don’t let go of the handle until the blade is completely covered by your fingers.
Next, carefully insert the blade under the stem of your pepper. Make sure the blade goes straight down into the center of the pepper. Hold firmly with the left hand. Pull the right hand upward toward the face to open up the cavity of your pepper. Rotate counterclockwise to loosen up the insides from the outside shell. Now simply twist downwards to remove the seeds.
Using the tips above will help preserve your vision and minimize discomfort. Also make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly once finished.
Here are Some Other Variations Worth Trying
PINEAPPLE MANGO HABANERO SALSA
This version uses pineapple instead of mango to create a tropical twist on the standard green bean salad style salsa. Try adding your favorite cheese with feta for a cheesy variation.
PEACH MANGO HABANERO SALSA
A nice alternative to plain ol’ green beans, peaches give this dish color and moisture. For a crunchier texture, dice your peaches instead of slicing them.
ROASTED MANGU MANGO HABANERO SALSA
Instead of boiling or roasting your mango, why not roast it whole with your habanero peppers? Roast the fruits in a single layer in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Use oven mitts while handling the pans to protect yourself. After 30 minutes, turn the pan until all sides brown slightly.
How To Roast Habaneros
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Wash and dry the habanero peppers. Place the peppers in a glass pie plate.
Use a spoon to scrape out any seeds inside the peppers. Spread the empty spaces evenly around the surface of your pie plate.
Sprinkle the entire dish of peppers liberally with your desired spices. The peppers’ skins will start to char and blossom. Set aside to cool completely before slicing.
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