Green Mangoes and Bagoong


The mere mention of “Green Mangoes and Bagoong” will likely excite the salivary glands of almost any Filipino. It’s true.

Green Mangoes and Bagoong.

Green Mangoes and Bagoong!

Green Mangoes and Bagoong!!!

The pairing of sour unripe mangoes dipped in salty fermented shrimp paste (Bagoong) may not sound too appealing to some, but it’s a mouth-watering combination for most Filipinos. In fact, after reading the first few lines of this post, I’m sure that
there are some gleek-covered computer screens out there due to the certain downpour of Pavlovian drool.

Up until recently though, my own Pavlovian response to green mangoes and bagoong did indeed entail salivation… except it was the sort of salivation associated with nausea. Yeah, vomit spit (ewww). You see, when I was a wee lad I would recoil in horror as I watched my mother snack on this sour/salty delicacy. Eating unripe fruit was strange enough to me as a child, but to then dip and smother the unripe fruit in stinky rotting shrimp was altogether… well, it was just plain gross.

For those who have never had the pleasure of eating bagoong, it is a very pungent and salty paste comprised of itty-bitty teeny-weeny fermenting shrimp. While Bagoong is salty in flavor, its funky aroma is kinda like if anchovies had feet, and wore dirty socks with an old pair of sneakers, and walked around town in the afternoon sun, in July–but in a good way.

As I’ve gotten older though, I have learned to enjoy Bagoong in tiny doses. Heck, I even made a salad with it. However, I’ve always avoided eating bagoong where it is one of the primary in-your-face ingredients–such as the condiment for green mangoes. But I must confess that I’ve finally discovered the virtues of this classic pairing.

Looks strange to some, but it’s dang tasty to others.

To put it simply, green mangoes and bagoong is like the Filipino version of salt and vinegar potato chips–except way better. The sourness of the unripe mango is cut by the salty fishiness of the bagoong, or vice-versa. Either way, I discovered it was a sour-salty snack of which I couldn’t get enough. All these years my poor tastebuds were in a deep sleep of boring. Now
though, my mouth waters whenever I think of crisp mangoes dipped in
funky shrimp paste.

Green mangoes are often sold in Asian markets, bagoong as well. To pick a green mango, choose a fruit that is still firm and has a skin that is entirely green.

To pick a jar of bagoong, you can go with the “raw” versions that are bright pink and labeled as “Bagoong Alamang.” To prepare the bagoong, just saute a few spoonfuls in a small pan with some chopped garlic and onions, a little bit of oil, and some sugar to taste if you’d like. You can even throw some hot sauce in the mix too. You can also make things easier on yourself by buying the “cooked” version of Bagoong that is labeled as “Ginisang Bagoong.”

Also, if a dip in bagoong is still troublesome for you, a sprinkling of good sea salt on a crisp wedge of green mango is a suitable substitute (though not nearly as tasty).

Of course though, I did find a way to mess with an already classic and impossibly easy-to-make snack…

Fried Green Mangoes!

Yeah, I know. Why would someone want to go to the trouble of breading and frying green mangoes when the are ready to eat as is? Well, because they are breaded and fried it may be a good change of pace to the old standby. Also, besides the added texture, frying the green mango brings out a bit of sweetness, though the mango still remains quite sour.

While I admit that the standard preparation of green mangoes and bagoong is the better preparation, breading and frying the mangoes was a fun and tasty experiment that I think many will enjoy. Think of it as another take on fried green tomatoes–but with a side of funky bagoong.

Fried Green Mangoes

1 large green mango, peeled and cut into wedges
Rice flour for dredging
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Dredge the mango wedges in the rice flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the wedges in the buttermilk, then roll them in the Panko bread crumbs to evenly coat. Set the coated wedges on a wire rack for a few minutes for the breading to set.

In a large frying pan, heat 1/4-inch of oil over medium high heat. Fry the mango wedges until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. You don’t want to “cook” the mango, you just want to quickly brown the crust–the mango should still be firm after frying.

Serve fried green mangoes with a side of bagoong (or ketchup or hotsauce or whatever condiment you like).

  • Rolfe Bautista May 3, 2009, 7:35 pm

    MY mom makes this all the time i love it 😀

  • Manggy May 3, 2009, 8:18 pm

    Hey welcome back Marvin! Confession: I have *never* tried this. I get away with enough shrimp as it is due to my allergies, loading up my mouth with millions of their babies seems like a suicide mission. The salt and vinegar chips comparison does intrigue me, though :)
    Does that mean I’m not a real Filipino? :(

  • Mila May 3, 2009, 8:50 pm

    You’re going all Fannie Flagg on us I see.
    Coincidentally, I was chatting with a friend who was showing off to his Pinay girlfriend how in he was with Pinoy food. I told him that if he really wanted to gild the lily he had better know his bagoongs. He admitted that he has tried it, sparingly, but never with green mangoes, which he thinks would be a great combination. I gave him a drool worthy explanation why the two are meant to be together, so his curiousity and salivary glands are now properly piqued.
    Yes, I did drool on my keyboard while looking at the photos above. I miss my alamang bagoong! Although a good Ilocano fish based bagoong with shallots, chillis, and a dash of sugar dresses a seaweed salad like you wouldn’t believe. Gah, more drool.

  • Yarn Hungry Piggett May 3, 2009, 11:35 pm

    Oh Marvin! You outdid yourself again on this Green Mango and Bagoong. After not posting for awhile, your readers got a little worried here! But this green mango & bagoong entry seems to be like YOU ARE TEASING US in a good way!
    I’ll definitely try your Fried Green Mangoes recipe a bit later. (If only I can find Pinoy mangoes around.)
    I like my bagoong with chicharon added when cooking it.
    Now, can you blog about Santol and Sea Salt or anything Santol? I’ve never seen Santol in the U.S. and I miss it soooo much!
    Thanks for making all these Pinoy dishes and blogging about them. I get homesick all the time reading your blog. Take care!

  • Katrina May 3, 2009, 11:59 pm

    Yay, you’re back! And am happy to say, still doing crazy things to Pinoy food — crispy, breaded, fried green mangoes?!?! I literally laughed out loud when I saw the photo! But I’m now very curious to try it…the mangoes stay crunchy, right? I don’t like when green mangoes are starting to soften already.

  • Alan G May 4, 2009, 4:12 am

    Yum yum yum! Must say I personally love green mangoes with my special mix of rock salt and brown sugar – you get sour, sweet, and salty all at the same time.

  • veron May 4, 2009, 5:25 am

    I feel my salivary glands working overtime all right! I’ve never had fried green mangoes though.

  • Roz Zabel May 4, 2009, 6:13 am

    I left Manila in May of 1945. And I so crave certain foods. I cook a lot of the foods. I do love green mangos and bagoong. I want to know how to cook dinoguan (spelled wrong!). Anyone out there have a recipe. I live alone so I only want to make a small amount. Roz

  • Eat. Travel. Eat! May 4, 2009, 4:21 pm

    This is something completely new to me :). Looks good though! I particularly like the first photo. Great color!

  • Efren May 4, 2009, 5:18 pm

    OMG, I just bought a green mango yesterday at the market. Now I need to find real bagoong and do this. That looks hella good. 😀

  • _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver May 4, 2009, 5:59 pm

    It’s really super hard to find green mangoes, so I’ve resorted to doing a “mango salad” (shamelessly ripped off from a now-defunct restaurant) with pickled mangoes (a Thai brand), tomatoes, red onions and bagoong. Chopped hard-boiled egg too, if not too lazy.
    Fried green mangoes… [chuckle]
    OHMY — Manggy has NEVER had bagoong and green mangoes?!
    to Roz Zabel: We have a recipe for dinuguan on our blog.

  • caninecologne May 4, 2009, 9:32 pm

    hi marvin! this is one of my parents’ favorite snack. but since they’re older now, they have to lay off the salty stuff…
    i like green mangoes but with salt, not bagoong. i know, blasphemy, ha.

  • Joyce May 5, 2009, 11:01 am

    how could I forget how great this combo is? I’m on the hunt for green mangoes today thanks to this post!

  • Leanna May 5, 2009, 1:34 pm

    My boyfriend is terrified of shrimp paste and won’t come near it. I think I’m going to make a side of bagoong out of it and attempt to have him try it with green mangoes. He loves your posts by the way!

  • jacob's mama May 5, 2009, 7:05 pm

    Very unique take on unripe mangoes. I will definitely try this. After rehydrate myself.

  • Marie May 5, 2009, 8:37 pm

    Hilarious! I’ve never tried bagoong, but what a description. Horridly smelly anchovies’ feet? Sign me up.

  • mike May 6, 2009, 1:27 am

    I was in the Philippines last Jan. i was having mangoes every other day. Good times.
    A personal favorite is diced green mangoes, tomatoes, and salted egg. Best paired with fried fish. Pure awesome in a plate.

  • Josie May 6, 2009, 10:04 am

    LOL. When my husband first made me try green mangos and bagoong, I thought he was crazy. Now, while I do like the green mangos (dipped in vinegar or salt) I’m still not crazy for the bagoong. Maybe some day.

  • mr. nonsense May 6, 2009, 3:54 pm

    i must say na attractive talaga ito sa mga buntis. my wife, who is american, doesn’t like seafood at all, loved mango and bagoong when she was pregnant.

  • Anbu May 6, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Dang, I was salivating while reading your post.

  • Susan May 7, 2009, 2:49 am

    OH no you didn’t!! Sigh…can’t have any type of seafood anymore…I’m drooling like crazy here…talk about suffer…nevertheless go ahead and enjoy it because I know it just tastes so good…

  • Erin May 7, 2009, 9:27 am

    To think, I’ve have had a jar of this sitting in my fridge just waiting for me to find another use. I’ll have to hit up Uwajimaya for some green mango.

  • Burnt Lumpia May 7, 2009, 2:00 pm

    Hi Rolfe! Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Thanks, Manngy. It’s good to be back! I have more trouble believing that you’ve never had salt and vinegar chips before! They’re just as addicting!
    Hi Mila. I actually had that same seaweed salad you speak of in Badoc last year. I totally forgot about it till you mentioned it again. Mmmmm…
    Hello Yarn Hungry (Piggett now?). I’m sorry to have worried my readers, but hopefully I’m back to my regular posts now;)
    Hey Katrina! The mangoes do soften just a bit when fried, but they still have a nice bite to them. That’s why I specify in the recipe that the main objective is to quickly brown the crust, rather than to cook the mango. Fast is good in this case.
    Mmmmm, rock salt and brown sugar! That sounds wonderful Alan G! I’m new at this, so I never thought of a dip in sugar.
    Hi veron! Yes, fried green mangoes are worth a try if you’ve got the time.
    Hi Roz. Sorry, but I have yet to try my hand at dinaguan! I will get to it someday though, I hope.
    Thanks ETE!
    Thanks Efren! I hope you found some bagoong!
    That salad sounds killer, ts! Especially with the eggs.
    Not blasphemous at all caninecologne;) I do the salt too when I’m out of bagoong.
    No problem, Joyce. I’m glad I reminded you about this.
    If I know your boyfriend, Leanna, his excuse is that he’s allergic. Mention the “Bag O’ Tricks Bowl” to him, he’ll know what I’m talking about. Bagoong was heavily involved. His mind is weak!
    Hi jacob’s mama. Yes, do keep that screen clean!
    Hi Marie. It’s pretty funky stuff! But I’m glad you’re up for it!
    Awesome on a plate indeed, mike! Salty, tangy, sour and with fried fish!
    It’s definitely an acquired taste, Jose;)
    Thanks mr. nonsense. My wife is pregnant too, but she still keeps clear of the bagoong.
    Thanks Anbu!
    No seafood, Susan! That’s terrible!
    You’ve got bagoong in your fridge, Erin? You’re awesomer than I thought;)

  • Pat May 7, 2009, 2:19 pm

    try guava or green apples with shrimp paste too … yum!

  • Lori Lynn May 7, 2009, 4:48 pm

    Anchovies with feet, you are too much!
    I like the fried idea. And will be on the lookout for the bagoong.

  • rita May 8, 2009, 2:28 am

    i’m one of those who’ll say, “ewww” to bagoong. i never got the hang of it.
    i love green mangoes, though. especially, the green mango juice. a few years ago, one visit i did to the philippines, i was introduced to that and life was never the same. i loved it!

  • ahnjel May 8, 2009, 9:11 pm

    oh my marvin… my mouth watered even without reading it !
    i mean just looking at it…
    fried green mangoes?
    maybe ill try them out

  • Alisa@Foodista May 9, 2009, 3:06 am

    Seriously, fried green mangoes? This brings back lots of wonderful memories…back in highschool,my friends and I buy green mangoes and bagoong from the street vendors at the school gate. The whole school bus would reek of ginisang bagoong! I’ll definitely try this one out :)

  • Erin May 9, 2009, 11:00 am

    Yeah, I used it in a base for a curry and as part of a mixture I used to encrust some prawns a while back. I love the smell, it is rich and pungent at the same time and I love the depth it adds to a dish. I still haven’t tried this, but I’ll be cleaning out my fridge for the move in a few weeks so I’ll have no reason not to.

  • bagito May 9, 2009, 7:32 pm

    Whoa! I didn’t see that coming. At first I thought you were gonna pair bagoong w/ french fries. LOL! I’ve never heard of deep fried green mangoes before but after reading your post, why not? The pics look so tempting anyway.
    Actually, my first thought was oh, the wife must’ve been craving this as she’s preggers and then I remembered she’s not Pinay. So, the only thing I can come up with is you must be having your own version of “sympathy pregnancy” cravings. Heehee.
    BTW, so glad to see you posted again after more than a month. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who got a tad worried there. Hope all’s well with the family (sounds like it, anyway). =)
    P.S. Try green mangoes w/ patis, too. Even better w/ green indian mangoes.

  • Jescel May 11, 2009, 9:53 am

    Filipino version of salt and vinegar potato chips–except way better.. THAT IS SOOO TRUE!!! You fried the green mangoes??? good experiment but I think you’ve had way too much french fries! :oD

  • Sheila May 12, 2009, 4:42 pm

    Did you ever see the improv episode of Dinner Impossible on the Food Network? One of the actors challenged him to use bagoong in one of his dishes and he flat out refused. It was almost kind of offensive but he is kind of a hack. Hehe.

  • AC_Confession Nook May 23, 2009, 2:21 am

    i never tried fried mangga…hmm..
    drooling again..

  • Jen May 23, 2009, 7:38 am

    I’ve always loved Indian mangoes and bagoong combo..Have you tried bagoong with singkamas (Mexican turnip)? That’s a good combination too..

  • Leela@SheSimmers June 16, 2009, 7:22 am

    Green mangoes and bagoong … swoon. Anything fruit that is tart and crunchy goes well with bagoong, actually. The Thai version is a little different, but the concept is the same.
    Your fried green mangoes look so delicious. This is new to me. Never thought of batter-fry green mangoes. Very cool.

  • cranzz July 2, 2009, 1:38 pm

    a good filipino restaurant should have green mangoes/bagoong on the menu for appetizer.

  • toni August 4, 2009, 9:00 pm

    Deep-fried green mangoes? That’s a first! I’d definitely want to try this. 😀

  • Arnaldo August 5, 2009, 11:17 am

    yummy blog you have! Alam mo sabi nila ‘you are what you eat’, para sa ating mga Filipino wala ng mas totoo pa sa kasabihang ito. Mabuhay ang kulturang Filipino, Hanggang sa muli!

  • Marie April 20, 2010, 2:41 am

    fried green mangoes, new to me, but i would still go for the fresh green mango 😉

  • Vito July 6, 2010, 7:49 am

    I tried this for the first time and I’m afraid that I insulted my host when I said it tasted like I was eating dirty socks. I’ve never eatin anything that was so overpowering in my life. I’m still feeling the aftershocks from this. The mango was fine but the Bagoong is definately an acquired taste.

  • Anne January 12, 2011, 11:44 pm

    We usually call that alamang in tagalog or armang in ilocano. It’s different from bagoong (bahg-go-ohng). bagoong is fish sauce with anchovies or the ones we call bagoong monamon which is also delicious as a dip for green mangoes

  • Jay February 9, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Eating alamang and green mangoes from Davao in Hong Kong :)

  • Food Diary September 24, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Fried green mangoes are new to me. Guess it’s worth a try! ^_^


Leave a Comment