Tsingtao Green Mango Pickles a la Bettyq, Wilson & Marketman :)

Few things get my salivary glands pumping like a seriously tart green mango. And few memories of “contraband” and “illicit” food from grade school bring bigger smiles to my face than these sweet and savory marinated mango slices from street food vendors or shops/counters that sold champoy, dikiam and the like in local groceries in the 1970’s. I haven’t had them in YEARS. And a couple of years ago I wrote a quick post on burong mangga which was just green mangoes in brine. Then a couple of months ago, Bettyq sent me an email with this recipe of how to replicate the kind of sweet, sour, salty green mango treat of my youth. I knew I was going to try it this summer when mangoes were plentiful…

But first, a word about the source of these wonderful mangoes. A few years ago, our Houseman at the beach, Eli, passed away due to kidney failure, after several months of dialysis and medical treatment. He was in his early forties, and had served us well. We had promised him that we would help make sure all of his kids were fine and that they could continue their schooling. We ended up hiring his wife as our new “bantay” and she too has served us well, albeit juggling her role as a mother to 4 kids. Thankfully, the job is not so demanding and we are only occasionally at the shore. Today two of their kids are in private colleges and pursuing a college degree, one is still in high school and the fourth in grade school. While Eli worked for us, he also planted dozens and dozens of fruit trees on their family property close by and many of these trees have begun to literally bear fruit. Yesterday, the crew who were in Nasugbu for errands brought back several kilos of SPECTACULAR apple mangoes (a mixture of Indian mango flavor, more sweetness and a tart green mango) and several kilos of medium sized tart green carabao mangoes from Eli’s trees. They were a gift from Eli’s family, a thank you of sorts, that we truly appreciate. Over the years we have received wonderful bananas, mangoes of all sorts, and if timed right, some sineguelas as well from Eli’s family. Read this sineguelas post I wrote soon after Eli passed away… So these are special mangoes, from a very special source, meant for a special treat…

Fast forward to Bettyq’s email, filled with enthusiasm that cooks display when they have created, replicated, revisited a recipe from their past and nailed it on the first go… The inspiration was some tart green mangoes, the post that was used as a reference was this old post on burong mangga, and Wilson Cariaga’s comments on how his mom made their version with some beer, and the result is this fine recipe that turns out delicious pickled mangoes… I started with 6 medium sized TART green mangoes. Peel and slice into long pieces, roughly 1/2 inch thick. I like these chunky, others prefer them thinner. Place the sliced mangoes in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Mix together a slurry of 2.5 cups of white sugar, 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (or cane/coconut vinegar) and 3/4 cup rock salt (not iodized). If you are using kosher salt with a finer grain, use less salt. Do not use iodized table salt. Add a pinch of ground turmeric (Betty’s secret) if you have it. Add the slurry to the mangoes, stir and cover with plastic wrap and let this brine in the fridge overnight. An incredible amount of liquid will leech from the mangoes by the next morning. Betty suggests draining the mangoes and squeezing them, but it seemed a waste to throw that saucy goodness out so I drained about 2/3 of the liquid out and did not squeeze the mangoes so they had a relatively firm texture. I added about a cup of simple syrup made of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, heated until dissolved and cooled down to the mango mixture and about 3/4 cup of Tsingtao beer (because we had it, and this is a vaguely Chinese concoction I would think…) and mixed this, transferred it to a bottle and refrigerated it.

A few hours later, I tasted the mangoes and was transported back to about grade 2, when I used take my meager allowance and surreptitiously purchase a little bag of “dirty” green mango in brine/sugar from the guy who sold it outside the wire fence of my grade school in Quezon City. This homemade version is terrific — the mangoes still possess some freshness, crunch and tooth resistance, but your mouth fills with sourness, saltiness, sweetness and ever so slight fermentation. Adjust your recipe to meet your taste preferences, either more salty, sweeter or more fermented (add more beer). Totally addictive. :)


55 Responses

  1. to us Ilocanos we call it “inartem”. gusto ko tuloy kumain ng inartem ngayon. i will surely try your recipe sir! :)

  2. I use mamofuku pickling solution for our burong mangga, inspired by your post on pickled singkamas and Japanese cucumber. I just added more sugar. My husband says it’s way better than any of those burong mangga sold in Chinese stores. But i will also try with ground turmeric. Thanks for the many tips.

  3. oooh! I love this! i grew up in Ongpin so I would always get my yaya to buy me some before! thanks for the recipe!

  4. Yummy! Can’t wait to try this one…but what i love about today’s post was your story about Eli. You’re blessed with so much because you are a wonderful person and you know how to share – without expecting something in return. Thanks to people like you. I hope you will continue to inspire more and more through your stories. Cheers!

  5. Ang Sarap! Just reading this post makes me salivate so much just imagining iyong crunch and taste of the pickled mangoes…..but sadly I have to wait for our mango season to arrive here in my side of the world, before I’ll get the chance on trying out this recipe=)

  6. Thanks, MM, I might try this too while the mango season lasts. And I spotted Tsingtao at Rustan’s a few weeks ago.

    Btw, would you happen to have a good recipe for green mango chutney?

  7. Drool! I love Tsingtao and was thinking of other ways I can incorporate it with my cooking. But is it possible to use some other type of beer for this?

  8. Mojow, yes of course, San Miguel pale pilsen and other similar beers would work just fine… Bettyq even made this with white wine and said it worked well… cumin, sorry, I don’t have a really good recipe for chutney at this point…

  9. Your, and your readers’, generosity in sharing recipes and cooking tips is awesome! Please don’t ever think of ‘retiring’ this blog like you did before, MM. Your blog is a daily must-read of so many lives now! More power to you and your ‘fan club’,MM!

  10. Speaking of those “contraband” green mangoes, has anyone ever figured out how to make that darned bagoong that comes with it? I’ve tried replicating the recipe and has never come close to how the mobile vendors make it… even tried something as crazy as mixing milo (yes, the chocolate malt drink) with some bagoong because a vendor jokingly told me about it when I asked.

    BTW, my mom also taught me how to make this green mango concoction where you mix sliced green mangoes with some soy sauce and sugar. it can be enjoyed immediately or chilled (which is preferred). I wonder if this is just isolated to our household? :)

  11. tonceq, we do that with our mangoes too! especially ones that are too sour for eating with soy sauce alone. yum!

  12. ‘Seriously tart green mango’ fan too. Alas, not available at my local market. At the moment only strawberries (a glut in this warm spring), raspberries, nectarines, the first of the season’s peaches…sigh…I tried eating an unripe peach with bagoong – let’s say it was interesting.

  13. salivating at close to midnight! yes, this was forbidden too. my mom once wondered why i came home with very brown lips; when she rummaged through my schoolbag, she discovered the leftovers of ripe tamarind and salt and their newspaper wrapping. i still remember her telling me, what if a cat had pooped or given birth on top of those newspapers before the sampaloc vendor used them to wrap the tamarind and salt? ;-)

  14. OMG, MM…Knowing how busy you are, I figured you must have forgotten or my e-mail got buried somewhere in your files! I said… Sayang if you have forgotten to do this and mango season is at its peak there!

    We do not have beer readily available at my fingertips at home but I have white wine since a good neighbour makes homemade wine all the time and made a whoooole case for me. Yes, white wine tastes wonderful in this concoction….not overpowering but it gives that fermented taste. But since it is more subtle than beer, I used about 1 cup (eyeballing 1 cup and therfore it could have been a bit more)!

    Josephine…maybe if you can ask the farmer’s market vendor to bring you unripe nectarines, this would work using those.

    Ms. Connie C…I don’t know if I can send you this one. I will try! Keep your fingers crossed!

    Cumin…I have an excellent green tomato chutney recipe. I turn all the green tomaotes I have before frost sets in into chutney. I will send it to you if you want and maybe it will work with green mangoes

  15. @tonceq….. for the “dirty” bagoong sold in karitons to go with the mangoes would you believe they saute it with UFC Catsup and sugar .( ssshhhh I once asked a vendor about it !!!)

  16. one of my childhood favorites ! won’t stop eating these mangoes til my lips get puffy & sore hahaha thanks to BettyQ & Wilson, too … will definitely try this as I see green mangoes all over the store… the beer will just have to wait til next season though, too early for baby to have a blast in mommy’s womb :)

  17. wow, this is something that is too great to pass, i will try this recipe and asked some green tart mango from my neighbor that got a good tree full of mango fruits… thank MM.
    oh for the bagoong sold with the mangoes by the ambulant vendors, they added some seven-up when they cooked the bagoong alamang (that is one of their secret as whispered by the vendor infront of the church where i normally buy when am in GenSan).

  18. Thanks MM, Bettyq and Wilson for another recipe to try (as soon as we get green mangoes in this side of the world). Tonceq, like Sophie I also received the same tip from a friendly fruit vendor about mixing 7-up to bagoong sauted in generous amounts of chopped onions and garlic. I tried it eons ago using Barrio Fiesta spicy bagoong and if I may say so, I did quite well (hubby liked it – my ultimate taste-tester).

  19. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. It’s so wonderful when we have a story behind the food that we eat. I think it brings so much more appreciation and connection to the earth, and everything and everyone around us. I truly believe you when you say that Eli’s mangoes is his way to thank you beyond the grave.

  20. @millet, Philippines says: is the jar sitting on a mango tree stump, MM?

    I also wondered about it. It looks pickled too to me.

  21. Yup, MM…Eli, among others, is closely watching over you and your family! I am sure you have a seat already engraved UP ABOVE!!!!!

    I, for one, is ever so THANKFUL, for having known you and your family and Sister even virtually and like the others, you have continued to inspire me and not stop until I get it right…oh, dear, that is compulsive behaviour now…

    Hey, Footloose….I am sending a care package to my nephew maybe next month. Send me an-mail (please forward it to him, MM). I will ask my nephew to send you your share.

  22. We do get mangos here but they are almost ripe by the time they get to the shop. bettyq mentioned nectarines so I will try them next summer. also i bought about 20 preserving jars from an retired couple not far away from were we lived. They originally came from Malta and the woman was telling me that many years ago when they arrived in NZ everybody was into preserving. So they taught themselves how to preserved summer fruits and tomatos and they were self sufficient since then. Now they have to sell their home and live in a rest home so they’re selling all their belongings except for a few treasured stuff. She gave me a crash course on how to preserve tomatos while I was there and her husband gave me some acid free tomato seeds to plant next summer. Two years ago I made a space in my backyard for a vegetable garden so acid free tomatos will be a nice addition to our garden. cheers

  23. betty q., wow yes, thanks, please, I would love to have your green tomato chutney. To be honest, I have zero experience with green tomatoes, but now would be a good time to try as the tomatoes in the market these days are more often green than red, and I’ve been lamenting that farmers harvest them before their time.

    7-Up in bagoong is new to me, too!

  24. Besides 7up, that street side bagoong essentially has sugar added, either in white or brown form or mixed with a little water… hence the 7up shortcut. :)

  25. Being pregnant and looking at/reading this post, not a very good combination =(

  26. Kim…maybe add apple cider?…cut down on the simple syrup…

    MM…maybe Coke(Coca-Cola) would be good in baggong gisado. remember the Chicken in Coca Cola recipe I sent you before? When reduced to a syrupy consistency, it is like teriyaki. I wonder….I will experiment and if I nail it…I will share the recipe as well…maybe someone can bottle it and proceeds go to your feeding program…I am off to buy bottled alamang tom. for the stores are closed now.

  27. Nick…do you have a pressure canner? If you do and you have access to fresh fish like smelt, or salmon, try canning fish with oliveoil, garlic, bay leaves or basil, roasted peppers etc. You will never buy those canned fish again. Let me know and I will you give a crash course on canning fish Portuguese style here on line.

    MM…ask Sister to send you a pressure canner so you can try your hand at canning tawilis Portuguese orMoroccan style.

  28. bettyq, how weird is that, I was just looking at a ALL-AMERICAN pressure canner in Quiapo the other day, just 20% more than the price in the states, might have to get that… but I understand you can only use ball jars and not the thinner jam jars they sell here… I would have to stock up on the heavy duty canning jars…

  29. Now, that is really weird, MM!!!!

    Sister…how about making singit in your next BB box those salmon jars for your little brother? But mind oyu, MM…I have used those 250 ml. jam jars for those isang kainan na salmon sardines. A 21 or 22 qt. Pressure canner can hold 12-500 ml. jars or 24-250ml. jars. I traded my 21 qt. pressure canner for my brother’s medium sized pressure canner which I regret now.

    At any rate, I only make 24 jars at a time and it does not last long at our house. It is salmon season soon and what I usually do is stock up on chinook and sockeyes. Do you know that the best way to prevent freezer burn on the fish is to leave it rounded….like with guts and slime and all still intact (in the fish) and wrapped tightly in plastic…I learned this from my fisherman friend. Each time I want to cook salmon, I thaw it out 3/4 of the way and while it is still partially frozen, I gut it and guess what….the guts come out whole and best part….NO BLOOD! ….not as malansa to clean as fresh gutted salmon.

  30. Wow! Betty would you please give us instruction on how to can salmon. I love salmon in all forms plus I always have stock in my pantry those spanish/portuguese small cans of sardines Tome (sp?). Thanks.

  31. Ok…Nina

    Get 2 average sized salmon (wild ones preferably) about 8 pounds (dressed). This would yield 24 -250 ml. jars or 12- 500 ml. jars. Check for any nicks on the rim. I buy mine from garge sales at $1.50 to $2/dozen. Clean in hot soapy water and give it a whirl in the dishwasher or in a deep pot and boil for 15 minutes. Turn it over on a clean towel to drain. Whilke it is draining…prepare your salmon. Cut the fish in sections by measuring the height of the jar and cut the fish per the height of the jar minus 3/4 inch. Then each piece, cut in half through the spine. Or if you are adept at filleting the fish…much quicker if you fillet one side. then cut the fillet in sections measuring the height of the jar as above. Now the fillet with the backbone intact….just cut through the backbone. Do not worry about the bones….It will get soft in the processing. Then EACH piece, cut into big chunks. Put in bowl and rinse. Then put all the salmon pieces briefly on salted water to get rid of more blood lurking along the spine. Rinse thoroughly and drain throughly.

    Now, in the bottom of each jar…put 2 slices of sweet pickles, 1 carrot coin, 1 bay leaf, 1 small peeled garlic, 1/2 dried chili (small one) , a few ppercorns, 1/2 kutsarita kosher salt…then fill with the salmon chunks and pack them in….really pack them in. Use the fillers like the collrs I mentioned at the end of this comment. Top with about 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. of the sweet pickle juice. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND YOU ARE USING 250 ML. JARS. If you are using 500 ml. jars, use 1 kutsarita kosher salt.

    You ccan vary the ingredients. I prefer, besides the one above…basil leaves, roasted peppers 1 or 2 strips, 1 big fat garlic clove, shallots (1 small), 1 thin slice chorizo de bilbao, 1/2 dried chili.

    Then the seal…prepare according to the manufacturer. Clean the rim before putting the seal and put the ring on. Make sure the ring is mahigpit. Now arrange the jars on your pressure cnner. Fill with water up to near the top. Put the lid on and use 10pounds pressure. Put on heating element on high. When the that thing jiggles and you see steam…adjust the heat and start timing. It will take 1 and 1/2 hours. Make sure after it is done, let it cool and do not attempt tp open when it is still hissing. Let it thorughly die down on its own.

    This can be done on ordinary stove using a medium sized pressure canner. Howver, if you have a 21 qt. or bigger, my brother and I do this at the backyard using one of those propane fueled turkey fryer burner. This way, we can make 24 small jars at a time para isa na lang hirap!

    Now, since you like salmon in all forms, next lesson will be on Indian Candy. You need to get a fish smoker though first. If you intend to do this Indian Candy only once or twice, I would suggest getting a cheap, used ones on Craigslist. Make sure though that the element is still working. If the element isn’t, then you can buy it at any hardware store for $10 or so. Anew fish smoker can cost you more than $100 here.

    As I have said before we are not tomato sauce people…so I prefer the olive oil salmon sardines. Hoever, if you like the tomato sauce one….make a simple tomato sauce. My go-to- is Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with a pinch of sugar added and simmered slowly for about 2 hours or so instead of 45 minutes. Add a few tbsp. of that in the jar. Make sure you blitz the sauce first for Mrs. Hazan’s sauce is chunky!

    I cannot wait till the chinooks start swimming in the Fraser River and my commercial fisherman friend goes fishing next month.

    Now for salmon, I prefer chinook over sockeyes. Pink salmon makes good ccanned salmon too.

    Oh, also use the collars tinik and all! Cut them into chunks and use those as fillers.

    Hope this helps!

  32. bettyq – No I don’t have a a pressure canner. I don’t think I’ve seen one actually. Seafood including salmon is plentiful here in Auckland. I only need to drive about 5 minutes and I have access to a couple of shops which stock fresh fish, shell fish and smoke fish. Asian shops also have them. I’m new to preserving so your post above is certainly interesting reading. A fellow Filipino gave me a recipe on how to make sardines from scratch using a domestic pressure cooker. I still have to try it though. I remember my sister brought us some Cebu made sardines a few years back and they were very nice. Anyway gotta go I’m cleaning the dog kennel today. cheers

  33. Nick…you have Craigslist in Auckland? If you do, check every now and then the general or household section. You’ll never know…My current pressure canner is only 16 qt. (the one my brother has and traded for my 21 qt…DUH for me! At any rate, it only fits 12 small jars. I had about 6 more jars that needed processing. So, I took my biggest stock pot, arranged a tic tac toe bamboo skewers on the bottom and put the 6 jars on top of it and processed it on the stove. It took …get this…5 to 6 hours processing….just to see if it could be done this way! Needless to say…yes, it can be done BUT I will NEVER do it that way again!

    Nina…the salmon…8 pounds EACH.

  34. Can somebody help me pls?.. Where can I find these jars? I plan to make these mangoes as a gift.:)

  35. Thanks MM. How long can the pickled mangoes stay? Should they remain in the ref all the time Thanks again

  36. Bettty, as usual, thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your priceless recipe. I just ordered the cooker/canner online and since I do not have access to freshly caught salmon, hepefully Costco’s will be a good alternative.

  37. Nina…give me a few weeks for the See’s peanut brittle at talagang sawa na my taste testers. I just want to give them a breather. When I give out something, I want it to be fool-proof so people get it on the first try para hindi sayang ang ingredients.

  38. nangasim ako sa post na ito… i remember making my own burong mangga too using the immature(?) indian mangoes (about 2-2.5 inches long each) that just fell from the trees. In Jalajala, Rizal kasi, normally at around the months of January-March, the winds are so strong (I think this is during Amihan) that most indian mangoes don’t have the chance to mature at all and fall from the trees (you wouldn’t want to be under the trees or even out of the house during those times–as I would describe it, it’s hard to walk against the winds), there are also times during the flower bearing of the mango trees that we experience strong winds too.

    Back to the burong mangga, I just learned this from my uncle :) I would cut the peeled mango into halves (it wouldn’t be so hard since the core is still soft then remove the core. Add rock salt and some water then store them in glass jar/s. Few days after, the brine would somewhat taste like beer. I can eat them just like that or as side dish.

    Actually when I eat fresh indian mangoes, I cut them into thin slices and mix with salt and some water :) yummy!

  39. Please please please tell me this is possible without the beer? Please please please, pretty please?

  40. BettyQ sent me this recipe also and I had been asking the stores here for their produce manager para sa hilaw na mangga; kasi when they put-it out on the selling shelves, medio hinog na. Here and binebenta ay itong brand Ataulfo which is like our mangga piko, which is much asim than the “apple mango”. Anyway, no luck yet, hindi ko matiyempuhan ang manager, and so I still try. In the meantime, I found a Mexican bottled pickled mango – and the mango is that those of paho. Ang sarap din, medio burong-buro nga lang, wala ng crunch. Matagal na siguro sa bottle at saka maraming preservatives.

    Do you guys know that you can bring back to the States home made burong manggo? The immigration officer explained to me that fresh ones are not allowed, but if its pickled – it will pass, so last year, I just did that; I brought with me plastic sealer gadget and I pickled some manggo as well as kalamias (also the dried one). And I got into Dallas, I declared it in my paper and it passed.

    BettyQ, speaking of coke, I tried marinating the “native” chicken in it before frying… ayun ang lambot niya. Native chicken kasi is known to be tough, kaya usually they cook it in nilaga.

  41. OK, Betty……will salivate (hahahaha) while waiting for your perfect recipe for See’s peanut brittle. When I was working for one of Top 10 US companies, See’s was included in the list of a few companies that we’re analyzing. See’s is a well-known company in the industry noted for excellence in quality control. I just finished my mango pickles last night and it’s another OMG, par excellence! I used Costco’s Kirkland Hefeweizen beer (about a cup instead of 3/4), added less syrup, left about 10% of the marinade and did not squeeze the mangoes. Thank you very much MM and Betsy for another priceless recipe!

  42. thanks for the tip, betty :) … unfortunately, the one’s i got over the weekend are manibal na … not good for pickling :( i made some singkamas pickle today though :) pwede na rin pagtyagaan for my craving … hopefully next weekend, i’ll be able to get the mangoes i like !

  43. I made these last night and found my daughter having it for breakfast this morning!! It’s delicious! Thanks BettyQ, Wilson, & MM for sharing the recipe.

    P.S. How long will this keep in the fridge?

  44. MM, thank you for the green mango recipe. I will get the green mangoes and try this for sure. And to bettyq, thank you for the canned salmon recipe. I will wait for the chinook then. Aside, are we ever going to get together?

  45. Robert, head to Sian Kian Heng in Quiapo, near the bridge. I just bought an All-American pressure cooker a few weeks ago. And they are priced about 20% higher than if you buy them in the U.S., not a bad mark-up.


    1. slice 24pcs green mangoes (that is 48 cheeks) according to ur desired thickness.
    2. in a lock & lock plastic container (or an empty large mayonaise plastic jar), put enuf tap water dat would drown all ur sliced green mangoes.
    3. add 1 kilo of regular salt to the water. melt thoroughly by hand (if u want to boil this mixture go ahead, then cool).
    4. drop all ur green mango slices into this mixture. cover tight. let it stay for 2 days.
    5. after 2 days drain & wash d green mangoes thoroughly to remove d saltiness.
    6. repeat step no.2 for another day.
    7. after one day, drain and wash the green mangoes thoroughly. set aside.
    8. in a pan, boil d same amount of tap water that would drown d mango slices. add 2 kilos white sugar. add 2 cups gilbey’s gin& 4 pcs pandan leaves. set aside 2 cool.
    9. arrange d mango slices in the plastic container. pour the sugar mixture. cover tightly. refrigerate. ur sweet green mango slices will be ready to eat after 5days. Enjoy.



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