Green mango salad recipe: Tropical treat with heat

Green mango salad by Earth Vagabonds.

Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Ellen

I’ve never posted a recipe to this blog. But here is one of my favorites. I made it last night – again.

I’d like to say it’s a Philippine creation – but not really. Still, it’s something that I have been making throughout our nearly one year in the Philippines, where we have paused our Earth vagabonding while the coronavirus mess gets sorted out.

In fact, green mango salad is really a Thai specialty. At least that’s where I first discovered it – on the amazing beaches of southern Thailand.

There, some of the best green mango (and green papaya) salads are prepared to order at mobile carts or beach-side food stalls. The hygiene might be questionable, but customers order a fresh, custom-made salad from the 10 or 12 ingredient choices. One of these scrumptious, spicy delights – made while you watch – might cost a buck!

Of course, in Thailand, salads – and most anything else – is often served blazing, spicy hot. Almost inedible. Like some ‘nuclear’ chicken wings that are available back in the USA. They will make you cry. Personally, I do enjoy a ‘Thai spicy’ salad as long as I have some cold beer.

The first question at a Thai salad cart is ‘how hot / how many peppers’? I usually start my order by asking (or gesturing) for two jalapeños. But at home, especially when preparing supper for my wife and mom – who remains with us – I tone the spice level way down.

Theo’s easy, tasty, green mango salad

Basic ingredient list:

  • 1 kilo of very green mangoes – peeled and sliced julienne style
  • handful of green beans and a few small tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup of ground, granulated, or smashed-in-a-bowl peanuts
  • as much fresh chopped, dried, or bottled heat as you can handle

Directions; simple. Cut the stuff up – like matchsticks. Mix it all in a container. Combine the ‘dressing’ ingredients to taste and toss with the mix. Enjoy the tart, sweet, burn. Mmmmmmm. Drink beer.

Of course, there are variations and extra ingredients which can be used – and are offered at those Thai beach carts: tiny dried shrimp or shrimp paste, shredded coconut, scallions, bean sprouts, cilantro, coriander, mint. I’ve tried and enjoyed them all. The added shrimp products are my faves.

In truth, you can add most anything you have around the kitchen – whatever you like. Try to buy the greenest, hardest mangoes you can find at the market (they ripen quickly without refrigeration), but semi-ripe mangoes, or a combination, are OK and provide a sweeter flavor.

Honestly, green mangoes are really the only ones I enjoy eating any more. Ripe mangoes are too messy, too sweet, too fibrous. Green mangoes are firm and tart and crunchy – like a tropical Granny Smith apple. And so good plain with salt and beer.

Finally, the above recipe serves three to five people, but you can easily adjust the input and make a salad with even just a single mango. Also, I’ve found that any leftover salad is incredibly tasty the next day – so don’t hesitate to make your salad in advance.

Mmmmmm… just the thought of the hot, spicy, marinated mixture makes me want to have some right now! I gotta go find some more mangoes – and beer.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “Green mango salad recipe: Tropical treat with heat.”

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