Canned mango or canned beets? A choice I faced recently while cleaning out the pantry. Purchased long ago to try a now forgotten recipe, I tackled the can o’ mangoes first. Since I haven’t made all that many Chinese desserts, I decided on dim sum mango pudding. I’ve only ever seen it at Chinese restaurants, wolfed down by my niece and nephew in no time flat. I have never actually eaten it myself as it’s usually made with cream and gelatin.
While it was easy enough to veganize by subbing in a non-dairy milk and agar agar, I didn’t care for the taste of the canned mango. I’m not surprised, you get use to fresh and canned just doesn’t compare.
Trying again with fresh ripe mangoes, batch number 2 fared much better. Now, that’s what I imagined mango pudding to taste like – bright mango flavor, firm creamy texture, and not too sweet.
Although, I’m told the restaurant version is much, much sweeter, like twice as sweet. Since it’s homemade, I control the amount of sugar and I think less sweet is fine. But I’ve been advised by the young foodies to add at least another teaspoon of sugar next time I make it. YMMV.
Dim Sum Mango Pudding
Makes about 4 servings
8 ounces fresh mango, peeled and cubed (from 2-3 ripe Manila mangoes)
2 cups water
1/8 ounce agar agar flakes
2 tablespoons sugar or more depending on the sweetness of the mangoes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coconut cream or soy milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Extra soy milk for garnish (optional)
Extra mango pieces or blueberries for garnish (optional)
Sprig of mint for garnish (optional)
Blend the mango cubes in a food processor or blender and set aside.
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, reduce the heat and add the agar agar. Allow it to slowly dissolve, stirring occasionally, it’ll take about 20 minutes or so. Add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the coconut cream, mango and lime juice, whisk until evenly combined. Divide between the ramekins and refrigerate until set, about two hours.
To serve, run a butter knife around the edge and unmold onto a serving dish or serve right in the ramekin. Drizzle with soy milk on top as desired. Garnish with the extra mango pieces, blueberries or mint leaves if using.
Note: if you don’t have a full set of ramekins, you can use small bowls or jello molds. I didn’t have a mold so I ladled some into a plastic sandwich cutter placed on a small plate, that’s the heart-shaped pudding drizzled with extra soy milk pictured at the very top.