This Thai mango salad with the perfect balance of heat, tartness & sweetness is the perfect summer cooler to beat the tropical heat. Serve it with your favorite meat, prawns or snack it on its own!
No matter how unbearably hot Indian summer is, I eagerly wait for this season only because of its primary attraction which is none other than mangoes! Raw or ripe, this stuff is to die for! If you are not Asian, I am not sure how well familiar you are with this fruit; but for us mango is the king of fruit and it rightfully deserves all the love and attention it gets. Today I am sharing a Thai mango salad recipe using raw mangoes which has the perfect balance of tartness and a kick of heat imparted from chilies with additional depth from fish sauce which is a popular condiment in Thai cuisine. The tartness of green mangoes helps to cool down our body to let us adjust better with the high heat of summer. If you think deeply, nature has uncountable things to offer us so that we can adapt to the drastic yet expected climatic changes smoothly; but it’s solely upon us to bestow the respect that our mother nature deserves; else it can become dangerous!
With that anecdote, let me come back to today’s recipe of Thai mango salad. Just like India, I got to know that Thailand is quite big in mango production and hence they come up with many innovative recipes with mangoes using both raw and ripe mangoes just like this Thai mango salad which I found to be quite a well-loved side with grilled meat or seafood. We Indians eat raw mangoes differently in different regions but the most common practice is to make pickles of raw mangoes which we savor as a condiment with our rice or flat breads. This Thai mango salad seemed very different as well as interesting to me which is why I gave it a shot being a dedicated mango lover and thank God I did! I instantly fell in love with this delicious Thai mango salad which proved to be a perfect summer-cooler. This salad thing is just so perfect for the green mangoes with their sourness that you will be completely in awe of this, especially if you try this Thai mango salad for the very first time.
There are various types of green mangoes available in the market; some are more sour than other and some have a mix of sweet & sour taste. You can use any type of raw mango for making this Thai mango salad. Raw mangoes can feel quite sharp to taste if eaten on its own; hence this tangy & spicy Thai mango salad is perfect to give that sharp mangoes a balanced makeover of flavors and that’s where the epic salad dressing comes into play. This salad dressing is everything in this Thai mango salad and has mind-blowing flavors thanks to the popular Thai ingredients which make everything taste better. If you are already familiar with fish sauce, you may not be too fond of its stinky aroma, no one is. But when you use it right, it gives an amazing depth of flavor that is not possible to achieve otherwise but without any stinkiness whatsoever. If you follow the salad dressing instructions carefully, I bet you will love it as much as I did!
This Thai mango salad will be a perfect side for your spicy grilled chicken or any grilled meat of your choice or even seafood because the cooling effect of this salad compliments the warmth of grilled food beautifully. I would suggest you to make this Thai mango salad a night before and let it chill in refrigerator so that the flavors mingle with each other and build up to its maximum awesomeness! The flesh of raw mangoes is sometimes quite hard to bite; the salad dressing helps to soften them and give them a very nice texture which pleases your taste buds. To amp up the cooler quotient of this Thai mango salad, I have added some cucumbers and to add extra crunch & color, some bell peppers are thrown in. The raw onion may sometimes overpower the whole salad which is why I had soaked them in vinegar-water solution for half an hour to reduce its punch, but they contribute their share of sweetness to this delicious mango salad. I made my Thai mango salad on an impulse and I didn’t make any grilled meat or fish; but devoured this magical salad with some tortilla chips which turned out to be a killer combination! Try this out and enjoy the tropical summer!
- Green mango – 2
- Red bell pepper – ½
- Yellow bell pepper – ½
- Green chili – 2
- European cucumber – 1
- Onion – 1
- Scallion – 2
- Fresh mint leaves – ½ cup, chopped
- Fresh coriander leaves – ½ cup
- Toasted peanuts – ½ cup
- Salt to taste
- White vinegar – ¼ cup
- Plain water – ¼ cup
- Water – ½ cup
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Fish sauce – 1 tsp
- Light soy sauce – 2 tsp
- White vinegar – 1 tsp
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Wash and peel the raw mangoes removing the green skin completely. Cut the flesh out from both the flat sides of mangoes and discard the pit. Cut the mango flesh in long thin strips like juliennes.
- Cut each bell pepper halves into long thin strips. Slice the green chilies into thin rounds. Cut the cucumber into thin long strips, you can skip peeling the cucumbers.
- Chop the spring onions finely and reserve some green parts separately for garnishing at the end. Thinly slice onions and soak them for 30 minutes in a vinegar-water solution taking ¼ cup of each. Then drain the liquid out and set the onions aside.
- To make the salad dressing, heat half a cup of water in a small saucepan and add the sugar & fish sauce to it. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar based on the sourness of mangoes you are using.
- Once the water starts to simmer and sugar is completely dissolved, switch off the flame and let the liquid cool down to room temperature.
- Once it is cooled down, add soy sauce, vinegar and lemon juice. Give the dressing a good whisk and do a taste test. If you get the perfect hint of sweetness, sourness and saltiness, you are good to go. You can adjust any of these by adding more sugar or vinegar but do not add more fish sauce as it may turn the dressing stinky if added at this stage.
- Take a large bowl and add all chopped items to it – mangoes, cucumber, bell peppers, onions, scallions and green chilies. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of salt and mix everything using a spatula.
- Drizzle the prepared salad dressing over the mixed fruits & veggies and give a good mix. The dressing is quite thin which is why it will help soften all the salad ingredients nicely and mingle the flavors. Make sure all the items are moistened with the liquid.
- Cover the Thai mango salad with plastic wrap and let it chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. It is a good idea to give the salad few quick stirs in between.
- Just before serving, transfer the salad to a salad platter leaving the liquid behind. Scatter the toasted peanuts and green parts of scallions on top.
- Garnish your Thai mango salad with fresh mint & fresh coriander leaves and serve it on the side with your favorite grilled chicken or shrimp. Enjoy!