Not-So-Green Mango Salad; Photo - Danielle SucherWhen we want to find ripe mangoes - lush, juicy, almost overripe mangoes, in fact - the Mrs. Robinsons of mangoes - all the shelves seem to carry are hard, tart, green mangoes.

But when we're looking for tart, sharp green mangoes - more a vegetable than a fruit, clear and refreshing like citrus - the shelves are full of fragrant, sweet, tender mangoes that probably don't even exist except for those times when we're searching for the green ones.

Why do mangoes mock us so?

Whatever the reason, that's our excuse for bringing you a not-so-green mango salad today, instead of the Burmese green mango salad we'd intended to create. Made with mangoes that were somewhat unripe, firm and tasty without the dripping lushness or sharp tanginess of either extreme, this salad pops with fish sauce and sesame oil, sharpened with lime juice, and it has a satisfying crunch of raw red cabbage.

Not-So-Green Mango Salad
2 mangoes (green or verging towards unripe, at least), julienned
1 head red cabbage, julienned
6 hungarian wax peppers or similar green chilies, minced
3 shallots, minced
1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
1 tsp sesame oil, or to taste
1 tsp palm sugar, or to taste
4 limes worth of lime juice, or to taste

Stir all ingredients together. Optionally, you can add in some shrimp paste or ground tiny dried shrimp. Enjoy!