One of the things I relish about being in Vietnam is eating all the tropical fruit. Fruit seems to be everywhere, beautifully displayed at open air markets, roadside stands, and fresh juice and smoothie street carts.
The range is astounding—from different kinds of lychees and durian to jackfruit and soursop. Vietnam is geographically long and varied in climate so many kinds of fruits may be grown, including familiar strawberries and avocados.
Within Vietnam’s broad range of fruity goodness, the mango consistently captivates me with its fragrance, silky flesh, and sweet-tangy flavor. It screams, “I’m tropical!”
EATING MANGO AS A KID
When I was about five years old, my mom often mixed chopped mango and rice to get me to eat more. She’d sprinkle in a little fish sauce for a touch of umami depth—it’s not weird sounding if you consider pairing mango chutney with seafood.
Nowadays, I’ll make a green mango salad for a savory treat. I also enjoy mangoes for a refreshing sweet treat, either between meals or at the end of a meal.
Peak season fruit is highly prized by the Vietnamese (it’s the same for people of many other cultures), and we often gift one another fruit. Having lived in America for most of my life, I’ve adapted my tastes and have also figured out work-arounds to savor my favorite tropical fruit.
BUY FROZEN MANGO FOR SORBET
When excellent mangoes are not in season and I want to experience their refreshing verve, I buy frozen chunks and turn them into this vibrant sorbet.
One of the advantages of buying frozen fruit is that it’s harvested at ripeness and, in the case of mangoes, the brands I’ve used are not stringy. As a lifelong mango eater, there’s nothing more disappointing than eating stringy mango, which can have a dental floss effect in your mouth.
With frozen mango on hand, this sorbet is fast to make and, as an added bonus, it’s fat-free.
EASY NO-CHURN SORBET
The lime zest and juice enliven the mango flavor. Before grating the lime zest, scrub the lime a bit to remove any wax. A fine rasp grater like a Microplane is great for zesting the lime.
A food processor works best to make this kem xoài recipe. One of my recipe testers asked about using a blender, so I tried it and found that blending the mixture requires more liquid to puree the fruit. The result was great for a frozen margarita, but not ideal when I was aiming for a sorbet with strong flavor.
HOW TO SERVE THIS SORBET
Serve this mango lime sorbet on its own or add a cookie (something coconut-y or gingery would be great). If you’re hosting a fancy multi-course meal, consider the sorbet as a palate cleanser between courses. The beauty of this sorbet recipe is you can make it whenever you want!
LOVE SORBET? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES!
Easy Mango Lime Sorbet Recipe
- 1 pound frozen mango chunks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 teaspoons strained lime juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/3 cup water
1 Prep the ingredients: Partially thaw the mango at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until the tip of a knife easily penetrates 1/8 to 1/4 inch of the surface. (When in a hurry, microwave the mango on high in blasts of 10 to 15 seconds until just softened and poke-able.)
Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, stir together the sugar, lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, and water until the sugar dissolves.
2 Make the sorbet mixture: Put the mango chunks in a food processor and pulse about 24 times to coarsely chop. With the machine running, pour the sugar-water through the feed tube and keep processing until the mixture is smooth.
3 Freeze the sorbet: Using a spatula, transfer to a metal loaf pan or plastic storage container, leaving any chunks behind (cook’s bonus).
Cover and freeze until firm, about 40 minutes; if the edges froze a lot faster than the center, stir it all up and freeze about 10 minutes longer, or up to 2 weeks.
4 Serve! Let the sorbet sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften to a scoopable texture before serving.
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