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Can you cook with Mango peels?

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Do not automatically write this off as a crazy question. I love mangos and I hate waste. There is always so much yummy pulp that no matter of scraping with teeth can remove. I am sure somewhere in the world some ingenious cooks have found ways to harness mango peels (hey, orange peels are turned into candies!) So....any ideas Chowhounds?

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  1. No no no no. While not strictly poisonous, the sap and peel of mangos are highly toxic. Most people (though not all) will react very badly. It's a dermatitis reaction very like poison ivy (with similar frequency, not everyone reacts)--but not something you want to risk.

    1. Mango peels are inedible. Go to the mango website.

      1. Unripe (very tart) or raw mangoes are eaten peels and all (pickles, or cooked with dal, or in salads, etc.). Though I've never heard of people eating the peels of ripe mangoes, there seems to be a recipe here: http://kuali.com/recipes/viewrecipe.a...
        that uses them. Do tell if it works....

        3 Replies
        1. re: Rasam

          I can confirm that mango peels are VERY unpleasant for people who are sensitive to poison ivy. I love mangos and I can touch the peels with my hands, but if the peel comes in contact with mouth and lips, I break out in a bad rash. No fun at all.

          1. re: buttermilk

            I was thinking about the use of unripened green mango with peel in Indo-Pak chutneys and pickles as well, plus there is a whole genre of cuisine for "kairi" (that's Urdu/Hindi for the raw mango). I must have eaten pounds of the stuff in my lifetime and I never died. Perhaps the poison develops once the mangos mature.

            Definately don't like the ripened mango peels though. I toss them out. I have never heard of them being used and I guess now after reading this thread I know why. They are bitter and yucky anyway.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Maybe so. I used to eat unripe mangoes pickled and sprinkled with salt until my lips would turn white. Of course, I'm also a person who can run through a field of poison ivy with no ill effect, so I'm not the best test case. ;-)

        2. Mango skin contains urushiol oil, which is the substance in poison ivy that causes rashes. If you're allergic to it, it could be dangerous but if you're not, you could eat it, though it doesn't taste good. People used to think that by eating small amounts of poison ivy, they'd build up an immunity to it but they'd get serious side effects, eg, tingling mouth, severe stomach cramps, vomitting, to death. People who are allergic to urushiol oil will react the same with mangoes (and cashews, brazilnuts, pistachios) and skin.

          1. Mango is a relative of poison ivy. You can't even burn the wood safely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lenox637

              now I know - I love mango skins and eat them all the time - but I am one of the 65%(?) who do not have a reaction to poison Ivy and can basically stand in it all day without ever knowing it.

            2. Also be aware that, if the fruit has been sprayed or otherwise treated with pesticides, fungicides, etc., the peel is likely to have the highest concentration of those potentially harmful compounds.

              1. I haven't eat the peels but often order dishes cooked in and eaten in the peels in Malaysian restaurants, like mango chicken without any problem.

                1. I have been known to eat a mango the same way I eat an apple-skin and all! I picked up the habit when I lived in Africa. A couple of days ago, I peeled and sliced some mangoes for guests but ate the skins myself. So good...
                  Two caveats-- it needs to be a ripe, thin-skinned variety. Some are just stringy or bitter-toss those peels! The kind we had recently were maybe Calypso? The kind we had prior to that had a nasty thick skin which I tossed. There are lots of different types!
                  Second, the poison ivy thing. If you're allergic, just don't :)