February 23, 2012

Mango Fried Rice

by IsaChandra

Serves 4 to 6
Time: 30 minutes

Mango Fried Rice

The mango pricers of the world really need to work out a better system. It seems that they cost either an arm and a leg (not vegan) or they go on sale with such a surplus that the employees are practically throwing them at you like dodgeballs. There is no happy medium. So this week, life gave me mangoes and I needed to make something other than mango-ade.

Enter mango fried rice! This is actually modified from a pineapple fried rice recipe that I created one day during a bout of some serious homesickness. I miss Brooklyn! I miss walking to Prospect Park and watching a cricket game or a little league game or women’s softball. I miss walking around the loop with $5,000 dollar bikes and baby carriages whizzing by. I miss the beautiful fountain in the vale, spotting birds, and checking them off my birdwatching list. Orchard Oriole, Carolina Wren, Cedar Waxwing. I never thought that leaving Brooklyn would actually mean seeing less birds.

And after all that, happily spent from sitting around watching birds and people do things, I’d walk a few blocks to 7th avenue and get something to eat. One of my favorite things in the world was the pineapple fried rice from one of the million Thai spots on the strip. Omaha has Thai restaurants, of course, but there’s nothing here that even comes close to that fried rice. I guess that is kind of what my life has been about lately, taking some of my best memories and putting them together on a plate. And so that’s what I did.

This rice is tangy and spicy, pan fried with lots of ginger, garlic, and a little crushed coriander seed, then punctuated with seared but still snappy green beans, toasty cashews and juicy bits of sweet fruit. Then you finish it off with some lime and fresh basil leaves, making the dish so fragrant and heavenly that you might be inspired to start a Mango Fried Rice food cart. I didn’t make it too oily, but the frying is definitely a part of its addictiveness (although you can feel free to cut the oil by half or so). And hey, if you do start that cart, please come see me in Omaha!

I think this is a meal in itself, what with the cashews for protein, and the fiber from the veggies and rice. But if you want, you can saute up some tofu (use the Cast Iron Stirfry method) and toss it in, or try the Asian Baked Tofu from Veganomicon.

Recipe notes:
Thai basil has a more anise-licorice flavor and would be ideal here. It’s hard to get where I live and so I’ve grown accustomed to regular old basil in my Southeast Asian cooking. A thin metal spatula works best for this, because it slips under the rice easily, and prevents sticking. If you like, you can replace the mango with pineapple, no problemo.

I’m no mango-slicing aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s slapstick comedy to watch me dissect one. But this is what I do: peel off the skin with a veggie peeler, stand it on it’s head and use a chef’s knife to slice off one side along the pit. Once you’ve got that side sliced off, you can lay the mango on its side for balance and slice off the rest of the fruit, getting as close to the pit as possible. Then just cut into manageable pieces, they don’t have to be perfectly uniform, you’re not on Top Chef. But if you want to do a truly pro job on the mango, try this method from The Kitchn.

And lastly, the rice has to be cold for this recipe to work correctly, otherwise it will get mushy and sticky. Many supermarkets carry frozen bags of rice for reasonable prices. I’ve made this recipe with a standard 20 oz bag of rice in mind (Whole Foods has frozen Jasmine rice, even.) But you can certainly freeze your own! Just steam it up, fluff it and place in a mesh strainer. Refrigerate the rice to cool completely, while still in the colander so that it cools quickly and evenly. Then place rice in a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. I always keep a bag at the ready for quick weeknight meals, veggie burgers, what have you. For this recipe, you can just toss the rice in frozen. No big whoop.

Oh I lied…this is the last thing: to crush coriander seed, place in a plastic bag and roll a rolling pin across it (or a can of beans works, too.) Ok now, let’s get ricing!

3/4 cup unroasted cashews (if using roasted cashews, skip the toasting step)
6 oz green beans (about 1 1/2 cups), ends removed, sliced into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
1 medium red onion, diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
2 teaspoons crushed coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups cold jasmine rice
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (tamari is gluten free, soy sauce is not)
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 tomato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 mangos, peeled, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
15 basil leaves, chiffonade (that means rolled up and thinly sliced, but you can just chop it, too)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

To serve:
Extra Sriracha
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Toss in the cashews and dry toast them for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally. They should be slightly browned in some spots, but it’s okay if they’re unevenly browned, you don’t have to be too precise about it. Transfer cashews to a large plate.

Now we’re going to sear the green beans. Turn the heat on the pan up to medium-high. Add the green beans, a scant tablespoon of oil and a dash of salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the beans are bright green and seared. Transfer beans to the same plate as the cashews.

Add the onions to the pan along with another tablespoon of oil and a dash of salt. Toss for about 3 minutes, until onions are slightly charred but still firm. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander and red pepper flakes, and toss for 30 seconds are so, being careful not to burn.

Add another tablespoon of oil and about half of the cold rice. Toss to coat, then add in the remaining rice, tossing once again. Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing often, until warmed through.

Add the tamari, hot sauce and tomato, and toss. Cook for another 3 minutes, until the rice has browned sufficiently and the tomato is slightly broken down.

Add the string beans and cashews, mangoes, basil leaves and lime juice. Cook just until mangoes are heated through and basil is wilted, a minute or two. Taste for salt (don’t add more tamari, just add salt if it needs it) and serve, garnished with cilantro if you like, and with a bottle of Sriracha close by.

  • February 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm: Sara

    This looks incredible! Trying it this weekend!

  • February 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm: Chris

    As a hiker, I have found that one of the best things you can do with a mango surplus is to make mango leather. Just blend up a bunch (I have done as many as 10 at a time), put in some lemon juice and then dehydrate it. I use a dehydrator, but I’m sure the same effect can be acheived with parchment-lined baking trays and an oven on very low heat. Then when the mangoes cost an arm and a leg again, you have something to remember them by.

    • February 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm: IsaChandra

      Good idea!

  • February 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm: luminousvegans

    This looks like it rivals my mom’s version and she’s Thai and knows a thing or two about fried rice and mangoes. Yummy! I want some right now.

  • February 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm: sweet road

    Oh man… mango is probably my favorite fruit. I usually only eat it raw, but if I decide to cook or bake with it I usually only like to add it to savory dishes. This one seems perfect with all the sweet and spicy flavors.

  • February 24, 2012 at 2:43 am: Jessica Tan

    OMG! It looks beautiful and delicious! Awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

  • February 24, 2012 at 3:19 am: Daniel Donovan

    looks pretty dank

    • February 24, 2012 at 6:55 am: IsaChandra


  • February 24, 2012 at 3:25 am: Selina

    I LOVE mangoes immensely. I just like to eat them straight up they’re so good!

    Try my Mango Stir Fry “recipe” @ http://selindiana.blogspot.com/2012/01/mango-stir-fry.html

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:07 am: Danielle

    Wow, this looks delish! Never thought of mixing mango with stir-fried rice, but it totally makes sense.

    Brooklyn misses you too! But try to remember your own advice and whenever you get homesick for Brooklyn, just peruse the Craigslist apartment ads. Or think of bedbugs, crowded rush hour trains, or the smell of garbage rotting on train tracks on a muggy August day. Aah…

    • February 24, 2012 at 6:55 am: IsaChandra

      I know I know! I peruse Craigslist weekly to keep things in perspective.

  • February 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm: Lauren

    Last time I made fried rice for dinner hubby said it was too much like a side-dish, so this will have to be reserved for lunch or a side I guess, haha. We actually have a mango wedger from Pampered Chef that’s AWESOME for cutting mangoes! Just peel it, stand it up on a cutting board, then run the wedger down it and it cuts off four big hunks around the pit. SOOOO convenient, even though we rarely use it, hehe. We also have a pineapple corer(?) that pretty much does the same for pineapples :)

  • February 25, 2012 at 2:22 am: Monica

    Totally making this!

  • February 26, 2012 at 7:19 am: Elizabeth

    Going to have to try this! I’m sure it’s as wonderful as all of your recipes…haven’t tried one I haven’t liked.

  • February 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm: Diane

    Absolutely fantastic. I used frozen mango & green beans, and it was still wonderful.

  • February 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm: Liorah

    This looks awesome and I will try it. I peel mangoes by leaving the skin on, cutting off 4 pieces top-to-bottom as close to the pit as I can, then inverting each piece. The fruit usually separates from the skin nicely. Anyway, I’m also a transplanted Park Sloper, having moved to Kansas in 2006 and now Oklahoma. You know what I miss more than just about anything? The roasted artichokes from Russo’s on 7th Ave bet. 11/12 Streets, I believe. And I miss Kym from Medusa. I also miss liberals. :( Such a fabulous neighborhood.

  • February 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm: Mememe


  • February 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm: Jillian

    I love mango fried rice! I made it once when I was told “there’s no food in the house” because there was just leftover rice, peanut butter, a bag of frozen mango chunks, sriracha, and some garlic (which I sliced and fried) and my housemates at the time could not fathom that there was a meal there. I can’t wait to try this version.

  • February 28, 2012 at 2:02 am: phee

    This looks like a spa meal! I want this.

  • February 29, 2012 at 3:48 am: SED

    Okay, since mango technique is being shared (and since I’ve not seen my technique described):

    Stand it on end, and slice off the sides from either side of the pit (like in the linked method). Then slice those hemispheres into 4 long strips, about one inch wide each. Put the strips on a cutting board skin-side down, and peel the skin off with a thin knife by advancing the knife horizontally, while pushing the flat end of the knife down (it helps if the knife bends a little). This will give you mango spears.

    For the pit, just peel off the skin and then cut off what fruit you can. Or shove it in your mouth and gnaw off the fruit cave-man style.

  • February 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm: Joanna

    Omg soooo good. Eating it right now. Not a fan of green beans so I subbed pea pods. Awesome dish.

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm: Beth

    This looks totally delicious! How would frozen mango work? I like the pea pod idea from Joanna! Can’t wait to try!

  • March 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm: Kait

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m a Peace Corps volunteer living in Panama, and mango season is right around the corner. Given that I have three mango trees at my house, and rice is *never* difficult to find here, looks like I’ve found my next cheap and easy meal! As a vegetarian Peace Corps volunteer, the value of new recipes that I can actually make with few modifications to accommodate the lack of ingredients can never be downplayed.

    • March 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks for volunteering your time, glad to help you eat well!

  • March 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm: olive

    Will almonds work instead of cashews? In italy a small bag of cashews cost $ 5 !!! yikes

    • March 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm: IsaChandra

      Woah! Yes, use slivered or sliced. Those are both great toasted! Roasted peanuts would be good, too.

  • March 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm: John

    Try using black rice for a dramatic effect. Or cook half black rice and half jasmine rice to get purple. Just make sure you soak the black rice overnight before using. Black rice is usually served with coconut so through that in as well. The mango, coconut and vegies will jump out with the dark background.

  • March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm: taylor

    This was sooo good !! I made it with pineapple AND mango. Very very nice. I couldn’t find jasmine rice so i used basmati. I think i will use brown rice next time though… very delicious… OH and i made it with ALMONDS instead of cashews and it was great

  • March 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm: Alexa

    Made this with pineapple rather than mango, since that’s all I could find. Ridiculously delicious, as is anything that involves Sriracha!

  • March 7, 2012 at 1:52 am: donna desmarais

    I made this for lunch on my first day of the “Clean” program. A definite keeper! So yummy I felt like I was cheating!

  • March 7, 2012 at 1:54 am: donna desmarais

    Oh, FYI – if you’re on the Clean program, substitute the canola oil for coconut oil, use brown jasmine rice and wheat-free tamari and skip the tomato and Sriracha.

  • March 7, 2012 at 9:48 am: Louise

    Awesome. Just made this tonight, hubby and self are both rubbing our full & hot (I lost control of my red pepper flake shaker) tummies with great satisfaction.
    Oddly, mangoes are dirt cheap here in Australia at the moment too…

  • March 9, 2012 at 2:48 am: LaDonna

    Loved this recipe!! very good!

  • March 11, 2012 at 3:54 am: ula

    great recipe, everybody loved it!

  • March 13, 2012 at 4:49 am: Mrs. Flemmer

    We made this tonight with pineapple, mint, and asparagus, and tofu. I love how adaptable your recipes are to the ingredients I have on hand. We used a frozen lump of rice – don’t forget to crumble before adding if there’s no time for it to thaw!

  • March 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm: rose

    do you think i could substitute quinoa with good results?? no rice in the house…

    • March 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah I think so!

  • March 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm: Lexie

    I have yet another method of dealing with mango. I lived in North America for a while and never saw anyone use my technique, so I think it’s an Australian secret. Get the mango and stand it on it’s tail end and slice off the two cheeks (the bits that are on either side of the seed) as closely to the seed as possible. With the cheeks, use a butterknife to make deep criss crosses for the size of chunks you want, but try not to pierce the skin on the other side. Then either turn the cheek inside out and slice off your cubes, or use a spoon to spoon out your cubes. This is the easiest way to get the most out of your mango. Then for the seed, just cut off what you can and then chew off the rest for an awesome snack. There is a visual representation on this delicious blog : http://www.vegangela.com/2011/11/22/refreshing-quinoa-salad-with-mango-cucumber-avocado/

  • March 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm: Chelsea

    Are you living in Omaha now? I guess I haven’t read the blog for awhile.

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep, for over a year.

  • March 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm: Lindsey

    this recipe was sooo tasty!! I loved it so very much. The only thing I did change in it was that I used thinly sliced red peppers instead of green beans and threw in some corn as well. The flavours of this dish were so amazing..the freshness of the basil mixed with the spiciness of the chilli flakes and Sriracha sauce was AMAZING!!!
    thanks for this amazing website :)

  • March 22, 2012 at 8:20 am: Talisen

    Made this at the weekend – it was amazing. Thanks :-)

  • March 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm: Jamie

    This is inspired! All my non-vegan friends love this. About to make it again, by request.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm: Katie

    I used pineapples in place of mangoes as you suggest (my husband has a THING with mangoes. . .) and it was great. Even my preschoolers liked it! I’ve also shared the recipe with neighbors who can’t get enough Thai food take out. (This dish is better!)

  • March 28, 2012 at 4:38 am: Sarah

    OMG that was soooooooooooo good! Comparable to something I would normally get at a Thai restaurant…but made in my own kitchen. Thanks Isa, you are amazing!

  • March 29, 2012 at 2:24 am: Sonya

    Delicious! I tried john’s suggestion of black rice, and it does indeed look striking. But black rice is sooo sticky / glutinous that the whole thing turned to mush (and don’t get me started on my poor, poor Viking pan). The flavor is still great, but I’d advise sticking to white or brown rice.

  • April 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm: Arianna Cabrera

    Try the mango skin! My Dad and I eat it all the time. It’s tart and kinda an acquired taste, but I think it’s good!
    PS Isa, do you live in Omaha, NE? If so, we need to have a vegan cooking party! :)

  • May 1, 2012 at 12:58 am: Lea

    Made this the other night for my husband who is a chef at a big fancy NYC restaurant and he LOVED it! Delicious and colorful!! Love your site! Thanks so much.

  • May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm: Cassie

    I love this dish!! It is spicy and sweet and crunchy and chewy… It’s perfection! I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow, so I can have the leftovers!

  • May 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm: deb deb deb

    This was AWESOME, period. LOVE YOU and LOVE THIS!

  • May 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm: Jill

    I’m having trouble pinning recipes on your website. Just an FYI, in case there is a glitch. PS – Just found your blog & I’m so excited. I’m just starting to dive into some vegetarian/veganism.

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm: Jules

    We made this last night with some modifications and loved it! We used brown rice that I steamed in veg stock, used steamed frozen mixed veggies as I did not have green beans, and omitted the Sriracha hot sauce as I did not have any on hand and increased the red pepper flakes to a heaping 1/4 t. and used only one mango which we thought was plenty. We thought this was really tasty and very pretty with all the colors of the mango, basil, and veggies. Thank you! Will be making this again!

  • May 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm: Leanna

    That was aaaaamazing! Stuck to the recipe exactly and wow! Sooo fragrant and flavorful. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing it!

  • June 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm: Gwendolyn

    I just made this dish, and I subbed brown rice for white because I always feel so much better when I eat it, but I think the brown rice (basmati because I didn’t have jasmine) was too heavy and it wasn’t as flavorful as I thought it should be. Do you have any suggestions for this?

  • June 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm: Laura

    I just made this and am enjoying it (and will enjoy eating it for the rest of the week…and will maybe freeze some too, because it makes a lot!). I usually order food with mild spice, and 1T of sriracha made this a little too spicy for me–might use half as much next time. Unfortunately, this came out kind of mushy, even though I used cold rice. Should it be *frozen*-cold to keep it firm and separate like in the picture? Can’t figure out what I did wrong. Still tastes good, though! Thanks for the recipe!

  • July 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm: Knitty Lizzy

    A friend made this for my partner and I while my partner was home recovering from a major surgery. It was so amazing that I asked for the recipe, and have made it four more times in the last two months. So, so delicious! I don’t like the cashews in it, though, so I just leave them out. If I can’t find mango priced inexpensively, then I substitute fresh pineapple instead and it still tastes great.

  • July 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm: Lisa

    2 words came to mind while eating this: MOUTH. ORGASM.

  • July 18, 2012 at 3:16 am: lily

    Brilliant and amazing. How did I survive before finding this recipe? It’s unclear…but thank you, Isa:)

  • August 25, 2012 at 4:24 am: cj

    Absolute perfection!

  • September 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm: SI

    This is delicious! I love that this recipe is so easy and makes enough for 6+ people. I used frozen mangoes and green beans. Also, when i made it the second time I used Trader Joe’s pre-cooked/frozen jasmine rice. Quickest, best-est vegan dinner ever!

  • October 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm: Samantha

    I was diagnosed with Melanoma last week (I just turned 44) and my naturopath says “no dead animals”- which is fine with me as I actually don’t like meat all that much…but when you cook for a houseful of carnivores, you tend to eat it anyways….well no more of that for me. So I found your site and I’m in love!! I’m actually making this tonight, everything is all cut/chopped and ready to go. I have to sub pineapple for the mangoes (they’re still rock hard) and I THINK I found that Thai basil in my oriental market…I’m doing fish for the carnivores but they’re having this for a side dish, so hope they like it! I’ll post after dinner and tell you what I thought of it, and we’ll see if I over cooked the rice or not,,,I think I might have :(

  • October 3, 2012 at 12:18 am: Samantha

    As I suspected, I over cooked the rice (I cooked it yesterday, cooled it, and froze it for use today) what did I do wrong? I followed the package directions.

  • October 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm: Nic

    Seriously, amazing. We have yet to have a bad recipe from you! Thank you.

  • November 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm: Sherry in Union, KY

    I made this for dinner last night and it was well enjoyed. I thought there was just the right amount of heat provided for by the Sriracha and red pepper flakes indicated in the recipe. My 18-year-old son does not care for spicy foods, but he ate it. I prepped everything in advance so I could get it together quickly when it was time for dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  • November 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm: berryme

    Another winner! I used “TexMex” jasmati brown rice. I cooked the rice for about 35 minutes, drained the bit of remaining water in a colander and stuck the colander with rice in the freezer while I prepped the other ingredients and did the initial cooking. The rice was probably chilling for about 30 minutes before added. Turned out great. Very hearty with a great mix of flavors.

  • January 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm: Linda

    Has anyone tried this with tri colored Qunioa?

  • February 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm: KR

    This is absolutely incredible! Much needed blast of spice & fresh veggies…with amazing mango! This will be a regular in my kitchen.

  • April 17, 2013 at 12:04 am: Erica

    I made this tonight! It was absolutely delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • July 1, 2013 at 12:17 am: Amy

    This is quite tasty! Fam loved it. I swapped sweet white onion for red (it’s in season here) and that’s it. Will add to my list of regular meals!

  • August 26, 2013 at 3:25 am: Beth

    All I can say is this is the most delicious dish I have ever made… I still can’t believe I made it, me! Holy crap woman, you are badass.

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm: Mer

    I just had a party in my mouth!!! I didn’t have green beans so I subbed red/orange peppers and only had half the rise but I had some cooked faro in the freezer. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!

  • October 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm: Helen

    Made this for dinner last night. Took me like 20 minutes to do and deliciousness was to be had in my living room. Thank you Isa!

  • May 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm: MONIKA

    I have made this recipe quite a few time for my family. It’s delicious! My only problem is mine always comes out a tad more greasy than I’d like.

  • February 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm: Krystel

    Best fried rice ever. My husband, who’s a big fan of mock meat an all things I consider unhealthy, couldn’t help but keep eating this.

    Amazing dish and so, so easy to make.

  • February 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm: Betsy

    This rice is so good! I tried it last week and I’ve already made it twice! Thanks for another great recipe! I’m not sure if this or your thanksgiving burger is my favorite!