This Thai mango salad is delicious and very easy to make. The key to success is to use mangoes that have the perfect ripeness, just starting to ripe and still firm. Some recipes call for green mangoes, but I’ve found that using green mangoes results in a crunchy salad that lacks mango flavour and colour. I made this for my sister’s lunch group at work and everyone loved it. I served it as an appetizer to a cold Thai noodle salad (recipe here).
Thai Mango Salad Recipe
makes 4 to 6 servings
3 large red mangoes that are just starting to ripen but are still firm and give a little bit when pressed (Note: If the mango is too ripe, the salad will be mushy and if the mango is completely unripe, the salad will lack mango flavour and colour.)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1/4 red onion, chopped in half and then sliced thinly
1 small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped finely
roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely for garnish (optional)
for the sauce
1/6 cup fish sauce (preferred brand: Three Crabs)
1/6 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
finely grated zest of 2 limes
5 teaspoons of palm sugar (or substitute with unpacked light brown sugar)
1 fresh small red chili, seeds discarded and sliced thinly (optional and to taste)
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce until almost all of the sugar has dissolved. Adjust seasonings to taste and then set aside.
Peel the mangoes and cut the fruit into long and thin strips. Place them into a large bowl. Add the thinly sliced red bell pepper and red onion. Add the prepared sauce to taste (you may have some sauce leftover) and toss everything together very gently. Once the desired intensity of flavour has been achieved, gently toss in the fresh cilantro and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This salad can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature and tastes best 1 day after it was assembled. Just prior to serving, dish out and garnish with the chopped peanuts (optional).