Thai Mango Salad

We are coming into mango season.  Mangos are in the markets now and are very inexpensive.  This Thai Mango Salad recipe is an incredibly flavorful – awaken your taste buds – salad.  In addition, it’s very healthy, plus low in both calories and fat. You can serve it as a side dish or add some chicken, cooked shrimp or tofu to turn it into a main meal.  However you decide to serve this Thai Mango Salad, you’ll find that it is a healthy salad that your family and friends will love!

Ingredients:

  • 2 firm unripe mangoes (mangoes may be green or red-orange in color)
  • 1/4 cup dry shredded unsweetend coconut (the kind you use for baking)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 spring onions, sliced
  • handful of peanuts or cashews, left whole or roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • Optional: 1 cup cooked chicken (sliced), cooked shrimp, or fried tofu if vegetarian (cut into small cubes)
  • Optional: 1 fresh-cut red chili

SALAD DRESSING:

  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, OR vegetarian fish sauce, OR 4 Tbsp.soy sauce
  • 3-4 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. (or more) brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce

Directions:

  1. Place coconut in a frying pan or wok (no oil required). “Dry-fry” the coconut as if you were stir-frying it 2-3 minutes over medium heat, or until it turns a light golden-brown and is fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Mix together all the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or cup. The dressing should be a mingling of sweet, sour, spicy and salty, but more sweet than sour. Set aside.
  3. Using a sharp pairing knife, peel skin from mangoes. The flesh of the mango should be firm and light yellow-orange
  4. Using a medium to large-size grater (the kind you would use for cabbage salad), grate the flesh of the mangoes into a mixing bowl. Keep in mind there is a large flat stone at the mango’s center.
  5. Add the bean sprouts, cilantro, spring onions, cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu (if using), the fresh-cut chili, plus half the toasted coconut. Toss well to combine.
  6. Add the dressing and toss again. Do a taste-test. Add more fish sauce or soy sauce instead of salt. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar (honey works too). If you prefer more spice, add more chili sauce. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice.
  7. Place on a serving platter. Sprinkle the nuts over top plus the basil and remaining toasted coconut. Enjoy!

Make Ahead Tip: 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 when your guests arrive, simply put together, toss, and serve!

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