Thai Mango Salad
Mango is such an amazing fruit that you can use it in making dessert or even in main/side dishes. Let me tell you, when I was young, I hated ripe mango. Unripe mango is always my preference. I eat it by itself. What? Yeah, just slice it, dip with salt (or without) and put it in my mouth. Sometimes, I like to pickle unripe mango too, then eat it as a snack. 😉 Or use it to make into salad. Apart from Som Tam – Thai papaya salad, Thai mango salad is also my favourite.
So, why is it that I like unripe mango so much? Errr.. it’s kind of hard to explain. My tolerance to acidity is pretty high compared to others in my family. I love sour, sweet and sour stuff. The rest would wait for the mango to ripe but, for me, unripe mango suits my palates. However, as time goes by, I kind of open my mind a little and give ripe mango a go. Well, it tastes pretty good too. So, I slowly accepted ripe mango later in my life. Now that I am a very ‘mango’ person, I like to use both ripe and unripe in my cooking.
Thai mango salad can be a great side dish. Like its sister, Thai papaya salad, both of them share pretty much the same features – sweet, sour, and spicy. In terms of ingredients, you can pretty much make your own version of Thai mango salad. The standard version is always a mixture of thinly sliced unripe mango with roasted peanuts, dried shrimps, shallots, and chopped bird’s eyes chili. My version – I always like to top some toasted crispy anchovies! This dish is pretty much about flavours and textures. I love the crunch of the anchovies, while having the sweetness, sourness, and spiciness of other ingredients. Given just Thai mango salad, I can eat it with rice. Yes, just white plain rice. You can serve Thai mango salad with just about anything – chicken, meat, prawns… or eat on its own. 🙂
For the Thai Mango Salad:
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 red bird eye’s chillies
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
4-5 tbsp lime juice
20g dried shrimps
40g peanuts, toasted
3-4 tbsp palm sugar
a handful of dried anchovies, toasted
a handful of coriander, to garnish
1. Peel the green mango and shred with a zigzag peeler.
2. Soak the mango in ice cold water to make it crispy.
3. Slightly crush the chilies, shallots, dried shrimps and peanuts in a mortar. Then, put in fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. Mix well.
4. Pour in the above mixture into the sliced mango. Mix well.
5. Garnish with some toasted anchovies and coriander. Serve as a side dish.