Grasshopper’s Country Manager for Thailand and Myanmar, Katharina, shares one of her favorite quick and easy Thai recipes to prepare at home, with a little twist to make it her own - This crisp and zesty Thai Green Mango Salad is perfect for hot days, as a side dish to fish or chicken, or just a light lunch or snack.
Som Tum Mamuang - Green Mango salad
My favorite Thai recipe prepared with some variation.
I am a big fan of fresh leafy salads, which are rather rare to find in Asia, and so the green papaya salad and green mango salad have become my favorites. I like the fresh, crisp taste of the vegetables and it’s perfect for a quick and easy light lunch.
You will find street food vendors for Som Tum (green papaya salad) and Som Tum Mamuang (green mango salad) everywhere in Thailand and it’s always freshly made. Originally the dish comes from northern Thailand and Laos, from where it spread throughout the whole country and to its neighbors. When you go to a street food stall, you can choose from a selection of different variations: different levels of spicy and sour to adding crab, snails or rice noodles.
At home, I usually make a variation of green mango salad with the ingredients of the green papaya salad, simply because I love mangoes, but prefer to add a few more ingredients to make it a complete dish. I use a bit less seasoning and spices, as I like to taste the vegetables themselves. In traditional Thai cuisine, I feel the seasoning usually overpowers the vegetable’s taste. The indications for the seasoning are approximate, varying depending on my mood. I added some of the traditional ingredients in brackets since I personally do not add them to the dish. In western countries, green mangos may be a challenge to find. Firm yellow mangos may be substituted and will add sweeter flavor to the dish, which can be balanced out with more citrus.
Ingredients: (2 servings)
1 green (unripe) Mango
1 small cucumber
A spoonful of roasted peanuts
Fresh or dried shrimp (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves
[½ red onion] (not added, as I’m allergic)
Chili (either fresh or chili paste, depending on how much spicy you can take)
Juice of ½ fresh lime
1 spoon of vegetable oil
1 spoon of fish sauce or alternatively soy sauce
[½ spoon of palm sugar] (I usually don't add this as I don't like too much sweet in a salad)
In Thailand papaya salad is made with a giant mortar and pestle, if you do not have these at home you can also use regular a bowl and the back of a wooden spoon (don’t pound too hard, though).
Garlic and chilies are first crushed to release their flavors. Then, dried shrimp and peanuts are added and crushed. This not only tenderizes them, but it also helps them absorb more dressing. You should now add the dressing in approximately the quantities named above but should be varied depending on your taste ( more chilies = more spicy, more lime juice = more sour, more palm sugar = less sour, etc.).
Finally, mix together the tomatoes, shredded mango, cucumber and carrot with the dressing.
And there you have it my hybrid Thai green mango salad. This should make enough for two portions if enjoying it on its own. But if you are using it as an accompaniment to a main fish or chicken dish then this should be enough for 4-5 people to enjoy alongside.