I can be quite obsessive with my desire to turn everything into a mango recipe or more importantly and opportunity to teach people that mangoes work in just about any type of recipe or cuisine. I really do not exaggerate their versatility and am always trying to prove it, and proving it well definitely helps my quest. My latest venture took me really close to the edge of what I thought might be a stupid idea. But since I tend to be of the philosophy -that which makes you uncomfortable could possibly make you stronger- I pushed through the moment of discomfort and the idea of failure to impress. That’s when my Mango Mignonette recipe was born.
It all started when recently I signed my family up for a local CSF (Community Supported Fishery) Real Good Fish . Our first delivery was a big bag of Miyagi Oysters. The oysters were fished by Bodega Bay Oyster Company.
Miyagi Oysters are the most common oysters on the west coast. They are a small oyster, making them perfect for raw oysters on the half shell. They are named after the region in Japan from which they originated- Miyagi. They take about one and half years to grow to full maturity and the shell is elongated in shape and very rough. It’s incredibly briny with a mild nutty flavor. They are not very sweet, as other oysters tend to be, and I immediately thought they could handle an addition of slight sweetness from fresh mango to a mignonette.
So I wrote down my idea of what the recipe I envisioned consisted of and nailed it! The flavor combination that swirled in my mouth at first bite was surprisingly awesome. The brine complimented the sweetness of the mango while the chili gave a subtle reminder it was there. The tang of the vinegar accentuated the brine and the onions gave increased texture , I need more than a slippery texture with my oysters. The bubbles of the champagne gave the gulp of oyster a lighter, less dense feel and elevated the -fancy feeling- experience of sucking down an oyster to an even swankier mood.
Oysters on the Half Shell with Mango Mignonette
Makes enough for 12 generously dressed oysters
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
¼ cup champagne vinegar (I used O brand citrus champagne vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh green chili – deseeded
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced mango- semi-firm mango is ideal
2 tablespoons champagne or sparling wine
12-18 oysters on the half shell
Stir together the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and lemon juice. Add the fresh chili, the red onion and the mango and stir until combined. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until ice cold. Just prior to using, stir in the sparkling wine.