Thai mango salad is a spicy-sweet, crunchy Asian salad with mangoes and dried shrimp. Make this recipe for a delightfully delicious meal!
Thai cuisine is well-known for including ingredients to excite the palate. Combining sweet, salty, spicy, sour (tart) and umami flavors all into one dish takes both creativity and talent.
Thai Mango Salad Ingredients
This salad recipe starts with basic garden vegetables, but then it gets adventurous!
- Fresh vegetables
I use both yellow and red cherry tomatoes, a bit of fresh garlic, and a handful of green string beans. To add spicy heat to the salad, I also include a Fresno chile.
Fresno chili peppers are just slightly spicier than jalapeno peppers, but they also have a fruity flavor that you won’t find in jalapenos.
Feel free to swap out any or all of these salad ingredients for ones that you prefer.
- Dried shrimp
This is another common ingredient in Asian dishes. Dry shrimp is exactly what the name implies; actual sun-dried shrimp. Look for them in the ethnic ingredient section of the grocery store, or in most Asian markets. There are salted and unsalted varieties, and in both raw and cooked forms.
Important: For this Thai mango salad, you’ll need to use COOKED dried shrimp..
- Other ingredients for salad dressing- To bring out the flavors of the dried shrimp, you’ll need fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and a bit of brown sugar
- Garnish- A few roasted peanuts give a salty crunch to the mango salad, and chopped cilantro adds a spicy note and also makes a pretty garnish.
About Green Mango Fruit
Depending on where you live geographically, sourcing an actual Thai green mango may be difficult, or even impossible. For this reason, most recipes you see for Thai mango salad (including this one) call for unripened mangoes.
Truth be told, while they are certainly the right color, unripe green mangoes taste nothing like sweet green mango fruit from Thailand!
The Thai sweet green mango (Mamuang Kiew Sa Wei) is extremely crunchy, with nutty and slightly floral notes.
It isn't sweet like a juicy mango at all. Instead, the flavor and texture are similar to a crisp Granny Smith apple. It has one of the most unique, non-tropical flavors of all mangoes.
There is a lot of interesting information (and gorgeous photos!) on the Thai sweet green mango in a blog post on the Crespo Organic Mangoes website.
My point is, if you have access to them, use sweet green mango. If you don’t, it’s okay; Thai mango salad is delicious, even with completely ripe mango.
How to peel and slice mango fruit
Mangoes have a large pit in the center. For some people, peeling and slicing mangoes seems intimidating. It really isn't difficult, especially with a couple of kitchen tools at your side.
- Use a swivel vegetable peeler or Y-peeler to remove the outer peel from the mango.
- Set the peeled fruit onto a cutting board and use a sharp Chef's knife to slice it. Position the knife close to the center of the stem, carefully cutting along the sides of the pit. You will have two large oval pieces of mango. Now cut the two small sides off the mango pit to remove the flesh from the seed (see below).
- Lastly, use a julienne slicer, a mandoline, or Chef's knife to slice the fruit into julienne strips.
Making Thai mango salad dressing
Making the dressing is very simple as well. It's just a matter of mashing the ingredients together into a paste, which is then thinned out with juice from the limes and cherry tomatoes.
While you can certainly do this using the back of a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl, I recommend using a large granite mortar and pestle.
Not only does it work well for making pastes like this, you can also use a mortar and pestle for making your own spice blends, hummus, guacamole, and many other things! It's a great investment for your kitchen.
- This salad tastes the best when it's chilled, and within 3 to 4 days of making it.
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Nuts are optional: If you need to accommodate a nut allergy, just omit the nuts completely. Otherwise, feel free to use another nut of your choice. Cashews, macadamia nuts, or even pistachios would be tasty on a Thai mango salad.
There's no reason to include seafood in your salad if you won't enjoy it. You can omit both. Or, if you just need a gluten free substitute for fish sauce, there are some gluten free brands, or you can substitute with coconut aminos.
It's perfectly okay to substitute ripe sweet mango for sweet green mango. Of course, the flavor will be completely different, but the salad will still be delicious!
Thai Mango Salad
- 2 mangoes
- 20 fresh green beans
- 8 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 large Fresno chile (3 inch in length)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (or palm sugar)
- 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 large lime (3 tbsp juice)
- ¼ cup dried shrimp
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup cilantro for garnish
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer skin from each mango.
- With a sharp knife cut around the mango pit and discard. Cut mango flesh into julienne strips. Place in salad bowl.
- Trim the ends off the green beans and cut into 2 inch pieces. Reserving a third green beans, add remaining two thirds to salad. Cut the tomatoes in half.
- Using a mortar crush the red chile and garlic to a paste with the pestle. Alternately, you can dice the red chile fine and mince the garlic if preferred.
- Add the tomatoes, a third of the green beans, half the peanuts and crush slightly to bruise using pestle (or wooden spoon). Add brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and dried shrimp to mortar or bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour sauce mixture over mango and green beans, tossing to coat and mix thoroughly. Chill if preferred or serve immediately with slices of lime and garnish with remaining peanuts and chopped or micro cilantro on top.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.