|For the mango salad|
|1||Mango (12 oz)|
|1 stalk||Lemongrass, fresh (0.88 oz)|
|½||Red onion (1.4 oz)|
|½ bunch||Cilantro (fresh coriander) (0.35 oz)|
|½||Red chili pepper (0.09 oz)|
|1||Lime (2.4 oz)|
|2 tbsp||Coconut palm sugar (0.62 oz)|
|1 dash||Salt (0.01 oz)|
|For the poppers|
|11 oz||Sweet potatoes|
|½||Lime (1.2 oz)|
|1 dash||Salt (0.01 oz)|
|For the breading|
|2 tbsp||Cornstarch (0.70 oz)|
|80 ml||Tap water (mineral water, drinking) (2.8 oz)|
|⅛ tsp||Salt (0.03 oz)|
|1 ¾ oz||Almonds|
|1 ¾ oz||Shredded coconut, unsweetened|
|1 tbsp||Flour (0.35 oz)|
|To fry the poppers|
|2 tbsp||Rapsöl, raffiniert (bio ?) (0.98 oz)|
For the mango salad
Peel the mango, remove the core, and coarsely grate the flesh. Finely grate the bottom end of the lemongrass. Peel the onion and cut into thin strips; cut the chili pepper and herbs into thin rings. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice.
The author recommends using an unripe mango, as well as an organic lime (as do we). You can replace the cilantro with Thai basil.
Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and season with sugar and salt. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, continue with the next step.
The author recommends palm sugar or raw cane sugar.
For the poppers
Peel the sweet potatoes, halve lengthwise, and cut into about 1.5 cm thick slices. Cook in salted boiling water with the juice of half a lime for 5-7 minutes to soften them slightly. Remove and let cool a little.
For the breading
Mix the cornstarch with the water and salt. Coarsely grind the almonds and mix together with the shredded coconut.
You can buy almond meal or grind the almonds yourself with an electric coffee grinder. Alternatively, you can use Panko breadcrumbs or cornflakes.
Finishing the poppers
Dust the sweet potato pieces with flour, dip in the cornstarch batter, and then roll in the shredded coconut.
Heat oil in a skillet and panfry the poppers on both sides until crispy golden brown. Make sure that the oil doesn’t start to smoke (see Tips). Transfer the finished poppers to a paper towel to remove excess oil.
We chose to use refined canola oil and limited the amount to 2 tablespoons for 2 servings (see also Tips).
Serve the poppers while warm on a plate with the mango salad. Garnish with the cilantro.
To make these delicious sweet potato coconut poppers with mango salad, you will need unripe mango, cilantro (or Thai basil), and lemongrass.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not actually potatoes. While they grow as underground tubers, in contrast to regular potatoes they are not part of the nightshade family. Sweet potato leaves are edible and are a food staple in many tropical countries. Sweet potatoes have a high water content and as such can’t be stored for long periods of time like regular potatoes. However, careful handling (e.g., avoiding bruises) can extend the storage life. Since certain varieties contain an appreciable amount of hydrogen cyanide, you should carefully select the type of sweet potato you will be using. A large variety of both sweet and savory dishes can be prepared using sweet potatoes. These tubers are available in a range of colors, including yellow flesh with red skin, deep orange flesh with copper skin, and cream-colored flesh with light-colored skin. This recipe calls for yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass looks very much like grass and develops its citrus flavor best when used fresh. The main parts that are used in cooking are the lower parts of the stalks and the base of the leaves. Alternatively, you can use dried lemongrass (pieces or ground), but the dried form doesn’t have a strong flavor. The lemongrass flavor is a result of the essential oils it contains (especially citral). Many cooks, especially for Asian dishes, “bruise” the stalks by bending them several times so that they will release these oils. In addition, citral is extracted from the oil and then used as a flavor in the food industry and for cosmetics. Fresh lemongrass keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. Frozen, it can be stored for up to 6 months.
Mangoes: There are over one thousand different varieties of mango, which can be distinguished by their shape, flavor, and color. Mangoes taste sweet and contain numerous vitamins, and are one of the richest fruit sources of vitamin A (beta-carotene). For this salad, we recommend buying an unripe mango and using it when it is medium-ripe so that it can be easily grated. Green mangos (unripe mangos) are commonly used for salads and snacks in Asia; however, they are only available in Asian supermarkets.
Palm sugar: Palm sugar is a great sweetener thanks to its slightly malty flavor and moderate sweetness.
Aversion to cilantro: Some people react to cilantro’s intensive, slightly soapy aroma with symptoms ranging from aversion to nausea. According to Swiss statistics, 15 % of the allergic population reacts to cilantro. In these cases, simply leave out this ingredient, as there isn’t an alternative with a similar flavor. Flat-leaf parsley may look like cilantro, but it has a completely different flavor.
Mango ripeness: A mango’s degree of ripeness can be recognized by its smell and texture. You can tell that a mango is ripe by its sweet, fruity aroma. If you squeeze it gently, it should give slightly. Unripe mangoes are hard, similar to avocados.
Cold-pressed canola oil should not be used here as cold-pressed oils can only be heated slightly. In the case of cold-pressed canola oil, it can only be heated to a maximum of 120 °C; otherwise, harmful substances are produced. See also the following link: Cold-pressed canola oil. And you should also be careful heating refined canola oil as it should not be heated over 180 °C. In no case should the oil start to smoke, although it will start to decompose before it smokes.
Alternative to cilantro: The author suggests replacing the cilantro with Thai basil. Although Thai basil has a completely different flavor, it goes well with unripe mango.
Breading: We used coarsely ground almonds for our breading. You can also use panko breadcrumbs, cornflakes, or the crumbs from slightly stale, crumbly white bread.