Burong Mangga: Is It Healthy and Probiotic? Find Out Here!

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Also known as pickled mango, burong mangga is a Filipino side dish recipe made by submurging unripe mangoes in brine solution for a certain amount of time.

The brine used in burong mangga is made with water, salt, and sugar. However, most modern versions of the recipe use vinegar instead of water to give extra flavor to the dish.

Although the recipe works with mangoes of every variety as long as they’re unripe, the cultivars traditionally used in the traditional recipe are Carabao and Pico.

What is Burong Mangga

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Origin of the dish

Among the countless varieties of mango pickles, burong mangga specifically originates from the Philippines. As to when and how? That’s not entirely clear, as there’s minimal recorded information available about the dish.

Let’s just call it a “Filipino take” on the centuries-old food preservation technique that turned out delicious. ;)

How to Make Burong Mangga: A Filipino Delicacy

To make burong mangga (full recipe here), you will need the following:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salted small green mangoes
  • Chilis (optional)
  • A dish for mixing
  • A pot for boiling
  • A container for storing

Instructions

Here are the steps to make burong mangga:

  1. Wash the small green mangoes and remove their stems.
  2. Boil water and sugar mixture until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let the mixture cool down.
  4. Place the mangoes in a dish and pour the cooled mixture over them.
  5. Add chilis if desired.
  6. Mix everything together well.
  7. Store the mixture in a container and let it ferment for at least 2 days.
  8. After 2 days, the burong mangga is ready to be served.

Variants

There are different ways to make burong mangga, and here are some variants:

  • Some people add rice washing to the water and sugar mixture to speed up the fermentation process.
  • Others add garlic and ginger for added flavor.
  • Some use ripe mangoes instead of small green mangoes.

How Pickling Process Transforms Unripe Mangoes into Burong Mangga

Pickling is a process of preserving food by immersing it in brine or vinegar. The process of pickling has been around for centuries and is used to extend the shelf life of food. In the case of burong mangga, the pickling process transforms unripe mangoes into a tangy and sour delicacy.

Why Pickling is a Healthy Way to Preserve Food?

Pickling is a healthy way to preserve food because it does not involve the use of preservatives or artificial additives. The fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and boost the immune system. Additionally, pickling helps to retain the nutritional value of the food being preserved.

Choosing the Perfect Mango for Your Burong Mangga

When it comes to making burong mangga, not all mangoes are created equal. The type of mango you use can make or break your fermented fruit dish. Here are some of the best types of mangoes to use for burong mangga:

  • Carabao Mango: This is the most popular type of mango used for burong mangga. It’s sweet, juicy, and has a thin skin, making it easy to peel and slice.
  • Indian Mango: This type of mango is also a great choice for burong mangga. It has a slightly tangy flavor and a firm flesh that holds up well during the pickling process.
  • Ataulfo Mango: If you’re looking for a sweeter, creamier mango, the Ataulfo is a great choice. It’s smaller than other mangoes, but it has a rich, buttery flavor that pairs well with the tangy pickling liquid.

What to Look for When Choosing Mangoes

When selecting mangoes for your burong mangga, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose mangoes that are ripe but still firm. Overripe mangoes will turn to mush during the pickling process.
  • Look for mangoes with smooth, unblemished skin. Avoid mangoes with bruises or soft spots.
  • Choose mangoes that have a sweet aroma. If they don’t smell sweet, they may not be ripe enough.

Where to Buy Mangoes

You can find mangoes at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a large Filipino community, you may be able to find carabao mangoes at Asian markets or specialty stores.

Mastering the Art of Burong Mangga: Helpful Tips

  • Store your burong mangga in a cool and dry place to maintain its quality and flavor.
  • Make sure to properly seal the jars to prevent air from entering and spoiling the fruit.
  • Check for signs of bruising or soft spots on the mangoes before adding them to the brine.
  • If you’re introducing new implements or jars, make sure to sterilize them thoroughly to ensure a safe environment for fermentation.
  • Use distilled or iodized salt to ensure the right pH level for fermentation.
  • Adding herbs, spices, garlic, or chili can boost the flavor of your burong mangga, but make sure to use clean and dried ingredients to avoid introducing bacteria.

Substitutes and Additives

  • If fresh mangoes are not available, you can use dried mango slices instead.
  • You can also add other fruits like plums or hing to the brine to add more flavor.
  • Adding a touch of cider vinegar can mellow out the tartness of the brine and enhance the fruity aroma.
  • Adding iodine to the brine can help lessen the cloudiness and boost the fermentation process.
  • Avoid using additives or preservatives as they can affect the texture and quality of the burong mangga.

Packing and Serving

  • Make sure to fully submerge the mango slices in the brine to ensure even fermentation.
  • Pack the jars tightly with the mango slices to avoid air pockets.
  • Check the quality of the burong mangga by its texture and aroma. It should be firm and have a fruity smell.
  • Serve the burong mangga as a side dish or condiment for your favorite Filipino food.

Important Notes

  • It’s important to note that the quality of your burong mangga depends on the quality of the mangoes you use.
  • Always check the expiration date of your salt and make sure it’s iodized.
  • Use clean and sterilized jars to ensure a safe environment for fermentation.
  • The brine may darken over time, but this is normal and does not affect the quality of the burong mangga.
  • If the burong mangga tastes too salty, you can soak it in water for a few minutes before serving.

How to Enjoy Burong Mangga

Burong mangga is a great condiment to pair with rice dishes. Here’s how to serve it:

  • Start by washing your hands and the metal spoon you’ll be using to scoop the burong mangga.
  • Take a bowl of freshly cooked rice and mix in a little bit of burong mangga.
  • Add a sweet or spicy sauce according to your desired level of heat and flavor.
  • Remove the burong mangga from the jar using a clean spoon.
  • Let the excess brine drip off before adding it to the rice.
  • Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top for a beautiful contrast in color and flavor.

Grilled Meats and Sandwiches

Burong mangga also pairs well with grilled meats and sandwiches. Here’s how to serve it:

  • Start by washing your hands and the metal spoon you’ll be using to scoop the burong mangga.
  • Take a large bowl and spread a single layer of burong mangga on the bottom.
  • Add some sliced grilled meats or greens on top of the burong mangga.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to fully combine.
  • Add a little bit of mustard or sweet and spicy sauce according to your desired level of heat and flavor.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit in the fridge for a few days to allow the flavors to fully develop.
  • Check the level of brine and add a little bit of water if needed to fully cover the burong mangga.
  • Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top for a beautiful contrast in color and flavor.

As a Tangy Snack or Appetizer

Burong mangga can also be enjoyed as a tangy snack or appetizer. Here’s how to serve it:

  • Start by washing your hands and the metal spoon you’ll be using to scoop the burong mangga.
  • Take a glass jar and sterilize it by boiling it in water for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the cooled jar to a clean surface and sprinkle some fungal weights on the bottom.
  • Pack the burong mangga tightly into the jar, making sure there are no air pockets.
  • Pour the brine over the burong mangga until it is completely covered.
  • Seal the jar with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for a few days to ferment.
  • Check the level of brine and add a little bit of water if needed to fully cover the burong mangga.
  • Store the jar in the fridge for a few days to allow the flavors to fully develop.
  • Serve the burong mangga as a tangy snack or appetizer, or as a condiment to pair with barbecued meats or sandwiches to provide a delicious crunch and contrast in flavor.

Burong mangga is a versatile condiment that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether you’re making it at home or buying it from a store, it’s a delicious addition to any meal.

Storing Your Burong Mangga: Tips and Tricks

When it comes to storing your burong mangga, refrigeration is key. This will help keep the mangoes fresh and prevent the pickling process from continuing. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Store your burong mangga in clean, airtight jars.
  • Keep the jars in the refrigerator to maintain the quality of the pickled mangoes.
  • If you sliced or chopped the mangoes before pickling, make sure they are completely submerged in the vinegar, sugar, and water mixture.
  • Add bay leaves, white iodine, or apple cider vinegar to the mixture to help preserve the mangoes.
  • When you’re ready to serve, gently pour the pickled mangoes into a clean bowl and let them cool to room temperature before adding additional ingredients.

Is Burong Mangga Good for You?

Mangoes are already known for their nutritional benefits, and when fermented, burong mangga becomes even more nutritious. Here are some of the health benefits of burong mangga:

  • Fermented foods like burong mangga are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help improve gut health and boost the immune system.
  • Burong mangga is also a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin, bones, and teeth.
  • The fermentation process also increases the bioavailability of nutrients in mangoes, making them easier for the body to absorb.

Angkak Powder

One of the key ingredients in burong mangga is angkak powder, which is made from fermented red rice. Angkak powder is known for its health benefits, including:

  • It contains monacolin K, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
  • It has antioxidant properties that help protect the body from free radicals.
  • It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Low in Calories

Burong mangga is a low-calorie condiment that can be a healthy addition to your diet. One serving of burong mangga (about 1/4 cup) contains only about 20 calories, making it a great way to add flavor to your meals without adding extra calories.

Is Fermented Mango a Probiotic Powerhouse?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are often referred to as “good bacteria” because they help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut.

Is burong mangga a probiotic food?

Yes, burong mangga is a probiotic food. During the fermentation process, lactic acid bacteria are produced, which are known to have probiotic properties. These bacteria can help improve digestion, boost the immune system, and even reduce inflammation.

What are the benefits of consuming probiotics?

Consuming probiotics can have numerous health benefits, including:

  • Improved digestion and gut health
  • Enhanced immune function
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Lowered risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Improved mental health and cognitive function

Are there any risks associated with consuming probiotics?

While probiotics are generally considered safe, there are some risks associated with their consumption, including:

  • Allergic reactions in some individuals
  • Potential interactions with certain medications
  • Possible contamination with harmful bacteria in some cases

Conclusion

So, that’s Burong mangga. It’s a Filipino delicacy that involves pickling unripe mangoes with salt, sugar, and vinegar. 

It’s a great way to preserve food and has beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and boost the immune system. So, don’t be afraid to try it!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.