Google just informed me that only two states in the whole country ever search recipes for Green Mango Salad- California and Florida. Which I guess makes sense as they are the two states that grow mangoes, but the rest of you are really missing out! Green Mango Salad is a vibrantly refreshing, crunchy, herby, and citrusy salad. Mine is a riff on a classic Thai salad, without the flaming fresh chili peppers because I like to serve it as a cooling counterpoint to spicy food.
Unripe mango has a totally different texture and flavor than you are used to, and it lends itself to a savory salad. It’s also an excellent way to use up unripe or semi ripe mangoes that seem to pile up after every rainstorm in South Florida. In fact, many people who have mango trees in their backyard, but don’t like mangoes, are often loathe to let the fruit ripen naturally. The reason is when the fruit falls from the tree, the aroma of over ripe fruit can be overwhelming. Consequently, each year, several of our customers will bring in trash bags of green or semi ripe fruit, desperate to off load them. Well we’re here to serve and this Green Mango Salad became the answer to this curiously Floridian problem.
Sweet, Sour, Salt, Spice
Thai food is renowned for combining all the major flavors. The dressing for this Green Mango Salad is no exception. Fresh lime juice and rice vinegar bring acidity and tang, sugar mellows them with a hint of sweetness, chili flakes for a dash of heat, and salt and pepper round it all out. The dressing, like the salad, can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to use. (Hint-this super fast and easy dressing will upgrade all your salads this summer, make extra.)
Most westerners think of green mangoes as just unripe fruit, not ready to be eaten. So we squeeze every mango in the bin looking for one soft enough to enjoy, or we put a bowl of green ones next to a window and anxiously wait for them to ripen. But in Asian countries, where many people are vigilant about food waste, unripe mangoes that fall early from the tree are used in pickles, sauces, and amazing salads. Green mangoes have crisp flesh that have a nice crunch. You will need to peel the skin first and it’s also helpful to have a peeler that makes julienne strips for the flesh. (Or a really sharp knife. Become a Funky Subscriber and get our free tutorial so you can sharpen your knives like a pro.)
The one key point to this salad is to make sure to rinse the mango, red onion, and ginger. The mango has a lot of enzymes and rinsing it off gives the salad a more balanced flavor. Likewise, the onion and ginger are very strong elements. Giving them a rinse tames them a bit, allowing the flavors to blend well with the other ingredients and not dominate.
When all the salad ingredients are prepped, layer them in a bowl. Take a moment to admire how pretty it is:
The salad can be prepared to this point the day before, without adding the dressing. Just keep it chilled in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, pour the dressing on top and thoroughly mix.
Green Mango Salad is bright, zesty, and cooling. It’s exactly what your summer needs. Try it with something spicy like Korean Fried Chicken or BBQ Short Ribs. Please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below, we love hearing from you! And of course, we want to see your gorgeous salad so tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen.
Special thanks to my sister Mimi for letting me steal some mangoes from her trees!
- 2–3 green mangos, preferably not fibrous
- 2 tablespoons peeled thinly shredded ginger
- ¼ red bell pepper thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 small handful fresh mint
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro
For the Dressing:
- 1 lime
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Make the dressing: Cut and squeeze the limes to yield about 3 tablespoons of juice. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar, neutral oil, sugar, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Stir the dressing together until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Wash and peel the mango. Using a mandoline or a shredding peeler, shred the mango carefully, avoiding the pit. You should yield about 4 cups. Rinse the mango under running water and drain well in a colander. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Rinse the red onion under running water and drain well in a colander. Add it to the mango.
- Rinse the ginger in running water and drain well. Add it to the mango mix.
- Stack the mint leaves together and roll like a cigarette.
- Finely slice the mint with a knife or kitchen scissors.
- Coarsely chop the cilantro.
- Add the red pepper and herbs to the bowl and mix. Pour the dressing on top and mix again.
- Mound the salad onto a platter. Serve immediately.
You can make the salad and the dressing the day before (keeping the salad undressed) and store them in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, chop up the herbs, pour the dressing on top and toss to combine.
Keywords: green mango, thai food, green mango salad,