Thai cuisine, the exotic cuisine of South East Asis, is one of my favourite cuisines. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with a strong aromatic spicy edge. Four or five fundamental tastes are usually in complex interplay in every dish - sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Being born an Indian and having grown up mostly on South Indian food, I love Indian Food too but sometimes the spices and the curries gets a whole lot overwhelming. Occasionally, I just need a light meal with equally light seasonings. Being a vegetarian, I opt for simple vegetarian Thai dishes or Chinese Vegetarian ones.
The discovery of Lemongrass Thai Restaurants in the East side of Singapore during my late 20s was a godsend. I was swooning over their Tom Yum Soup, Olive Fried Rice, Green Mango Salad and Spicy Basil Tofu with Cashewnuts. Lemongrass was also my go to place during my first pregnancy when I had cravings for sour spicy food! On certain occasions, I'll be there just for their Tom Yum Soup ( I am literally salivating!).
Anywho, I decided to post about Thai Green Mango Salad as it is filled with a burst of tropical flavors. Spicy, sweet, sour and salty. This recipe showcases a fuss free no cook vegetarian version without the fish sauce and shrimps.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 Thai Green Mangoes, julienned
2-3 small red chillies or chilli padis, sliced (adjust according to your preference )
2 shallots, sliced thinly (optional)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
3 tbsps. peanuts, crushed
4 lettuce leaves for serving
2 tsps light brown sugar/honey
1/2 cup green lime juice
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
Salt to taste if you need
Mix all the dressing ingredients and adjust according to your taste preference.
Toss the rest of the ingredients (excl crushed peanuts, cilantro and lettuce leaves) in a salad bowl. Serve green mango salad on the lettuce leaves and pour over the dressing just before serving. Garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro/mint leaves.
Julienne the mangoes just before serving so as to ensure they are fresh and crunchy. Otherwise, soak the prepared mangoes in ice cold water and then drain and pat dry before adding in to the salad.
You can substitute green mango with green papaya to make Thai Green Papaya Salad.
Thai Green mango works best because other varieties tend to be tongue biting or sometimes not sour at all. In Singapore, you can get Thai Green mangoes at Sheng Shiong Supermarket.