Thai Green Mango Salad

by Karen on Monday, June 13, 2011

Post image for Thai Green Mango Salad

Summertime means mangoes and thankfully for a mango-lover like myself they're popping up all over the place. As you squeeze your way through a crate full of mangoes in search of that perfect give, make sure you don't pass up those rock hard green mangoes. Many cultures around the world make use of these under-ripened mangoes and there's good reason: green mangoes have great tart flavor and an addictive crunchy texture.

A Thai green mango salad is julienned green mango, peanuts, chillies, dried shrimp and shallots tossed in a coating of lime juice, sugar and fish sauce– just enough to make perfect sense of all the bold flavors in this salad.  This version can be elaborated on by adding or swapping ingredients such as cilantro, dried fish, carrots, shrimp, cashews, etc.  I love this salad because it has the classic Thai combination of flavors– that harmonious balance of savory, sour, sweet and hot.

This salad works fine on its own or paired with pretty much any protein like fish or chicken, and is genius on a hot summer day.

- one green mango, thinly julienned*
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 bird's eye chillies, thinly sliced on a bias
- 1 handful of roasted peanuts
- 1 small handful of dried shrimp (around 1 1/2 tbsps)
- juice of 1 lime (around 3-4 tbsps)
- 2 tbsps of fish sauce
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- small handful of roughly chopped cilantro

*Pick one that is rock hard and green.  Of course, when I went to the market there were only mostly ripe mangoes available.  I managed to find one that was pretty hard and the salad was still amazing, but the greener and harder the better!

Start by julienning your mango.  You don't need a special mandoline to do this although it would make it easier.  Here's how:

Start by peeling your mango

Then firmly hold your mango and start thinly slicing the mango parallel to the flatter sides of the pit (watch those fingers!) and repeat on the other side of the mango.

Stack a few slices and start cutting into very thin sticks.

As for the other shallower sides, you can try to repeat this process although it's a little more difficult because you're working with such little flesh.  Or you can do what I do: just eat it.

In a mortar and pestle, combine the sliced chillies, sliced shallots, peanuts and dried shrimp.  Lightly pound the ingredients until the whole peanuts break up.  If you don't have a mortar and pestle (which I highly recommend you purchasing; they're cheap and are indispensable for a globetrotter's kitchen) you can place the ingredients into a ziplock bag and lightly crush the ingredients with a rolling pin.

Combine this mixture with the shredded mango.  In a separate bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour it over the salad and add the cilantro and toss together.

Enjoy!

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{ 15 comments }

Belinda @zomppa June 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

Oh, I love mangos!! And this with the chilis…what a gorgeous dish.

mlleparadis June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am

yum, yum, yum and YUM! i know already this is a delicious dish but your photos make it utterly irresistible. thanks for this one!

Valerie June 14, 2011 at 1:00 am

Karen this looks SO delicious (maybe minus cilantro) and as I discovered the day we took photographs downtown… I love unripened mangos! Gorgeous salad, looks very satisfying.

Lan June 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

i love green mango salad, but for some of us who can’t get them readily, is there a good substitute? like maybe green apples?

Karen June 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

That’s actually a really good idea! I never thought of using green apples but has a similar crunch and tartness. I would say try it but just but less sugar in the sauce since apples will have quite a bit of sugar in them already. Let me know how that turns out

Carly June 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Try carrots. They are sweeter so up the lime if you want more pucker power. You can even cut the lime up (with peel still attached, but after squeezing) in to tiny pieces and add to mortar if you like a little more chew to your salad.

deana@lostpastremembered June 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

One of those things I always order in Thai restaurants… suck a cool and refreshing beginning. BUT>>> I have never made it myself, weird, right? The photos are just too gorgeous… I have got to buck up and find a green mango!

Karen June 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Or green papaya works well too (but I’m sure if you can find green papaya you can find green mangoes)

Sues June 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I could survive off mangoes… and whenever I go to a Thai restaurant, I look for some kind of green mango salad. Yours looks great!

rebecca June 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

love this salad it looks perfect

foodwanderings June 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Hey girl, came by to c what are you up to and found this gorgeous salad. Love anything mango & Thai. Beautifully delicious!

Jun June 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I love this!!! The tart-ness and the spicy-ness… I love this!!!

Sprinkleandserve June 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

This looks delicious. I can see it going really well with some nice bbq fish or chicken.

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy June 16, 2011 at 8:29 am

Oh my..this looks yum! Love this salad Karen! Green mangoes are my fav- I have to try this thai version- can have loads of it with cumin rice & dal :)

Orly @yumivore June 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I must try making this at home, it’s perfect for summer. Love it!

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