Simple salad highlights ripe mangos

Ripe, juicy mangoes are just waiting to be picked this time of year.

Florida’s mango season is one of my favorites. And it’s a big crop this year.

If you’re looking for ways to use mangoes, try this simple salad featuring mangoes, chicken and Chinese noodles.

Here are some tips on how to handle a mango:

Mangoes continue to ripen after they are picked. Keep them at room temperature until they yield to gentle pressure. To speed up the ripening, place mangoes in a covered bowl or paper bag.

The recipe calls for mango cubes. Slice off each side of the mango as close to the seed as possible. Take the mango half in your hand, skin side down. Score the fruit in a crisscross pattern through to the skin. Bend the skin backwards so that the cubes pop up. Slice the cubes away from the skin. Score and slice any fruit left on the pit.

Another quick method is to slice off each side of the mango as close to the seed as possible. Hold the mango half in the palm of your hand and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Cut off any remaining mango pulp from the pit.

Sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to the dressing. Toasted sesame oil can be found in most supermarkets. I prefer its more intense sesame flavor.

Chinese Mango and Chicken Salad

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 pound fresh or dried Chinese noodles

10 ounces roasted or rotisserie boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 cup washed, ready-to-eat Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces

1 cup mango cubes

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

2 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts

Place a medium saucepan filled with water on to boil over high heat.

Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil and set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add the noodles. Boil 2 minutes and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Mix chicken, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, noodles, mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Divide between two plates and sprinkle the scallions and peanuts on top. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 669 calories (31 percent from fat), 22.8 grams fat (4.1 grams saturated, 9.1 grams monounsaturated), 173 milligrams cholesterol, 54.6 grams protein, 64.4 gra s carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 791 milligrams sodium.