Sweet and Tangy Green Thai Mango Salad
Thai Mango Salad is both sweet and spicy! It starts with green unripened mangoes and is typically served as an appetizer. It’s refreshing from the sweet and tart green mangoes, with just a hint of sweetness from brown sugar, and a kick from Thai chilies. This authentic mango salad recipe is one that you are going to love!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about this Thai Mango Salad since 2017.
Yes, I remember the year I had this salad for the very first time, because it was indeed that monumental.
In fact, I remember where I had it too. It was on Maui and the Thai restaurant served it with crispy fish. Hands down, it was one of my favorite things from that trip, second only to the garlic noodles.
So what is a Thai mango salad? It’s the most delicious unripe mango salad made with minimal ingredients that provide an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Think how many flavors you’ll experience with thinly sliced mangoes tossed with fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, speckled with Thai chilies, and of course, the tiniest hint of garlic. There are lots of takes on this salad and people add different vegetables to give the salad a bit of color. My favorite rendition contained shredded carrots, red onions, and cilantro, so I typically stick with that. However, you could certainly added a thinly sliced red bell pepper for more color, flavor and crunch or even some thinly sliced cucumbers.
Serve it up with crispy fried fish, cooked shrimp, or chicken!
Ingredients for Thai green mango salad:
- Large unripe mango: Start with unripe mangoes. Unripe mangoes are undoubtedly easier to peel using my favorite y-peeler to make thin strips. This particular peeler juliennes the vegetables which is perfect for this dish!
- Red Onion: I usually thinly slice my red onions on a mandolin for this recipe. You can also thinly slice them by hand if you’d like.
- Carrot: You’ll also want to use the same vegetable peeler for the carrots. A bag of matchstick carrots would also work here, but I find that I like this recipe best when all the ingredients are the same size. So typically I prefer sticking to a julienne that’s the same size as the mangoes!
- Chopped Cilantro: fresh herbs add earthiness to the salad and helps brightens up all the other flavors. You could also add a few sprigs of Thai Basil if you’d like, I typically don’t.
- Thai chilies: Add a hint of much needed heat to this salad. If you don’t have Thai red chilies on hand, you can also use red pepper flakes instead.
- Garlic: You’ll need just one clove for garlic for the dressing. I grate the garlic on a grater and add it right into the dressing.
- Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness to the salad dressing. Unripe mangoes aren’t sweet like ripe mangoes so that hint of sugar helps balance the spicy, tart, and salty elements in this salad.
- Lime Juice: Adds a tart taste to the dressing. It works perfectly with the sweet, salty, and spicy elements in the dish.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce adds a rich umami flavor to the dressing. It’s also our sodium source for the salad so you don’t need any kosher salt for this.
Instruction for my Thai mango salad recipe:
- Slice all the ingredients that need to be sliced. Take your time for this recipe, peel the onions and then slice them carefully on a mandolin until you have thin shreds about that same size julienne as the mangoes and the carrots. To thinly. slice the mangoes, I use a y-peeler. This works really well when the mangoes are unripe.
- Make the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and chopped Thai chilies and stir until most of the sugar dissolves. It’s okay if not all of it does. It will dissolve once the other ingredients are added in.
- Make Thai green mango salad. Add the sliced onions, carrots, mangoes and cilantro and toss to combine. Taste the salad to see if it’s salty, sweet, tangy and spicy. Add whatever you need to make sure that you can taste all 4 of those. I sometimes need a bit more sugar, so I add another tablespoon. However, this will depend on how sweet the mangoes were in the first place.
It’s a very pleasant balanced combination of salty, sweet, tangy, spicy, and umami. You’ll get crunchy veggies with a hint of earthiness from the cilantro as well.
A Thai green papaya salad has a very different flavor, and typically different ingredients are used to make it.
You can load it up with Thai basil, green onions, or anything else you typically like in your Thai mango salad.
As written, this salad can be gluten-free. But you will want to make sure that the fish sauce you use is certified gluten-free.
You can replace the brown sugar with honey or even maple syrup if you’d like. I would start with 2 tablespoons and then adjust with more as needed after tasting.
I’d say there’s nothing like that crispy fried fish that I had it with! But you could also do grilled or pan-fried salmon, cooked shrimp, or even grilled lemongrass chicken.
You could if you’d like. Cashews or peanuts would be suggestions.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Garlic Lovers Thai Basil Chicken
- Easy Thai Cashew Chicken
- Thai Green Curry Chicken Soup
- Thai Basil Fried Rice
- Thai Sweet Chili Salmon Bowls
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1-4 Thai chilies (what you can handle)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 unripe green mangoes, julienned
- 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- SLICE: Take your time slicing the red onions and carrots. I usually use a mandolin for the onions, and a ‘y’ peeler (linked below) for the carrots and mango. This makes the shreds all the same size so that you can get a little bit of all the ingredients in each bite.
- SAUCE: In a medium bowl, combine fish sauce, lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, garlic, and chopped Thai chilies. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
- ADD THE SALAD INGREDIENTS: Add the sliced red onions, shredded mangoes, julienned carrots, and cilantro.
- TOSS: Toss the salad to combine. Taste and adjust with more fish sauce, lime juice, or brown sugar as desired.
- Sugar: You can also use palm sugar, honey, or maple syrup here.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gProtein: 2g
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