Green Mango Salad
Green mangos are used in salads, pickles and curries. It is different than eating a ripe mango – the flesh is a pale green, firm and has a lovely sharp taste. This salad will blow you away with its taste bud-awakening flavors and mix of textures. And as a bonus, it’s very healthy. To make this salad for a party, grate the mango ahead of time and place in a covered container in the refrigerator. Also toast the coconut, prepare the dressing, and have the rest of the ingredients close at hand. Then simply put together, toss, and serve! Any way you toss it, this classic Thai salad will be sure to win rave reviews from all your food loving fans!
Serves 2 to 3
1/4 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut
2 firm green mangoes, peeled
2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into shreds
1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, roughly chopped
Optional: 1 cup deep-fried tofu (cut into smaller cubes)
Optional: 1 fresh-cut red chili, cut into very thin strips
4 tablespoons.soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (recipe follows) or siracha hot sauce
Place the coconut in a frying pan or wok (no oil required). “Dry-fry” the coconut (as if you were stir-frying it) for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, or until it turns a light golden-brown and is fragrant. Set aside. Once the coconut is toasted, remove it from the pan right away and place it in a bowl, otherwise it will keep on toasting!
Using a large-size grater (the kind you would use for cabbage salad) or a food processor fitted with the large grating disc, grate the yellow-orange flesh of the mangoes into a mixing bowl. Discard the pit. Place in a shallow salad bowl or rimmed platter.
Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the salad dressing ingredients in a cup. Set aside.
To the bowl of shredded mango, add the bean sprouts, basil, tofu (if using), the fresh-cut chili (if using), plus half the toasted coconut. Toss well to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Do a taste-test. Add more soy sauce instead of salt. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar. If you prefer more spice, add more chili sauce or fresh-cut chili. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice. Sprinkle the nuts over top plus the remaining toasted coconut, and enjoy! It’s best to eat this salad up within 24 hours.
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Thai chili sauce usually contains garlic. Here is an easy recipe to make condiment without. It keeps two weeks in the refrigerator.
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or olive oil
3 to 4 Thai red Birdseye chili peppers
1/8 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon crumbled thyme
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Use just enough oil to lightly grease a small bowl. Mince the Thai peppers until you end up with very small pieces (essentially a mush) by hand or in a food processor. Leave the seeds in the mush if you like very hot. Put the mush in the greased bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to cominbe. The mixture should be somewhat runny (add more vinegar or lemon juice if needed). Use as a glaze for tofu or vegetables, an ingredient, or as a dipping sauce.