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Coconut Mango Salsa with Thai Basil

mango and coconut salsa recipe

You have to duck when you walk by this place or you might get knocked in the head by a flying coconut.

loading coconut at joez coconut penang dato keramat road

Joez Coconut shop - hidden inside a small, dingy, Penang shophouse – is filled with surprises, and at sunset, filled with coconuts. Hundreds of them. Green coconuts, dwarf (pandan) coconuts, brown husk coconuts. Every evening, a truck pulls over on busy Dato Keramat Road, and two workers jump on top of the mountain of coconuts and immediately toss them one by one to the workers standing below, who spin and toss them into a metal enclosure that occupies half the shophouse floor.

how does pandan coconut taste like?

This is the place where the people of Penang go for coconut. Coconut everything – whole coconuts, coconut water, coconut milk to cook with curries, shredded coconut for desserts or savory delicacies, the famous coconut jelly for an afternoon snack, coconut husks for prayers or decorations, and anything else you can do with a coconut.

Mark & I stop here once a week to sit back, sip on a coconut, and watch the guys chop the head-shaped fruits in half with machetes. When we’re done drinking the fresh coconut water, we lob the fruit back to the worker and he’ll catch it in the air with his machete, split it, and cut out a slab of husk so you can devour the sweet coconut flesh with the organic "spoon".

joez coconut dato kramat penang

Aside from the usual green and brown coconuts, Joez Coconut also sells the sweeter-tasting pandan coconuts, which come from the dwarf coconut tree (a very short palm tree that definitely doesn't have a ‘Beware of Falling Coconuts’ sign next to it). The pandan coconut has no direct relation to pandan spice (a local herb), but the fragrance of the coconut water and flesh is so similar, the nickname was an obvious choice.

what is the difference between normal coconut and pandan coconut?

The warm, tropical, nutty flavor of pandan coconut flesh accents many dishes, and pairs especially well with ripened sweet mango. I made a relish with the two, added a twist of lime, and gave the sweetness a minty-licorice kick with the refreshing aroma of Thai basil leaves.

I can only explain the combination of flavors as mood changing.  A feel good salsa.

mango coconut salsa

Try the coconut and mango salsa with grilled calamari and tomato rice. Or with any grilled seafood. I promise the taste will give you tropical visions of white sand, blue water, and falling coconuts.

Coconut Mango Salsa by Season with Spice

What you'll need:
2 medium-sized, ripe, sweet mangoes - diced
1 pandan coconut (or young coconut) - flesh cut in one inch strips
Large fresh green chili (and/or red chili) - minced
Handful of fresh Thai basil leaves (or cilantro leaves)
Lime wedge

Combine the mango, coconut flesh, minced chili pepper and Thai basil in your serving bowl (or coconut shell). Give them just a slight mix, so as not to mush them. Squeeze lime juice over salsa.
coconut mango salsa recipe


Rosa May said...

A fabulous salsa! Heavenly tasting, I'm sure.



BiteMyCake said...

Oh, I wish we had a place like this here...but I rarely get to eat coconuts. They are available in markets, but it's not the real deal like the ones you write about in this post :)

Nashira Usef said...

Simply love munching on tender coconut flesh! I'd never have thought of combing my two favorites--mango & coconut--to make such a wonderful recipe. Btw, loved all the photos. Particularly the one with the flying coconut. Brings back a lot of memories :)

Tanvi said...

The picture of the fresh coconut made me homesick for India! No matter how hard they try, the coconuts in the states can never really replicate that fresh off the tree flavor. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing.

seasonwithspice said...

Nash - I’m aware that you are very fond of coconuts:) Try it with mango next time - it’s really tasty and refreshing.

seasonwithspice said...

Mark was very surprised too when he first saw coconut shop like this in Penang. But before there is a coconut shop, they actually sell fresh coconuts off bicyle carts.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Tanvi. Just another reason to take a vacation back to India:)

seasonwithspice said...

Cheers Rosa!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

The salsa sounds really good with fried calamari! I have to try this pandan coconut the next time I visit.

Maja Matus said...

I'm impressed!! This is amazing guys!!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Biren. Do look out for pandan coconut when you visit. I was really surprised with the taste when I first took a sip of the water.

seasonwithspice said...

Simple salsa, but not lacking of flavor. Good to see you back, Maja.

Maja Matus said...

Tnx guys! I was preparing bar exam to complete my 6 years old study and intership :)
20 days more and I'm back again :) Nice to see lots of new stuff! kisses

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MelbaTeam said...

Biren, a chef on Melba I noticed was doing something similar to this with grilled squid rather than calamari.

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