One of my absolute favourite salads is a good Thai Mango Salad. Of course, living on Manitoulin Island, I try to use mostly ingredients that are found locally and that we grow on our farm. Sadly, we obviously just don’t have the temperature to grow tropical fruit. Not only are we in Canada, but we’re also in Northern Ontario. Our temperature and climate just aren’t conducive for producing some of my favourite fruits.
And, though I love supporting local and grow much of our own food, and try to keep to local and in-season products as much as we can, I’ll be the first to admit that I miss being able to have fresh mango, bananas and citrus right from the trees like I did at my grandparents’ home in the Philippines!
I just love a good Thai Mango Salad and every now and then, I just really want to have my favourite salad!
The sweet, spicy, tangy, salty combination just makes me so happy.
Here’s the recipe for the dressing. I’m not sure how authentic it is, but it seems pretty close to what I remember. As you know, my six year old and I love recreating restaurant dishes at home. We just go on what we remember of the ingredients, taste/flavours. I came up with what seems pretty close to the dressing for mango salad.
I will tell you that there is one ingredient in here that may throw some people off their tracks.
It’s fish sauce.
Did you know that fish sauce is used in many Thai and Asian recipes? Don’t be intimidated. The combination of the salty fish sauce and the sweet, tangy, tart mango salad is absolutely heavenly.
- 3 Tbsp. *fish sauce
- ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. sugar (you can use more or less -- it really depends on your taste)
- 2 tsp. chili sauce or hot sauce. If you don't have any, you can use ½ tsp. dried crushed chili flakes.
- Optional: 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- Mix together all of the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl. The dressing should taste sweet, sour, spicy and salty (but more sweet than sour).
Also, if you don't have limes for fresh lime juice, you can use bottled lime juice. This said, the freshness and uplifting flavour of fresh lime juice produces a more impressive result/flavour. Worst case scenario if you don't have lime, you can use lemon. Again, it's not the same. I highly recommend freshly-squeezed lime juice.
As for the nuts, you can add crushed peanuts or substitute the peanuts with cashews. Personally, I like the cashews better than the peanuts! LOVE cashews! My actual salad recipe changes all the time.
Sometimes it’s just mango and red pepper with the dressing. Sometimes it’s mango, sweet bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow peppers), mesclun salad (Chervil, arugula, endive, spinach, etc), red onion, julienned carrots and the delicious salad dressing. Do whatever you want. This salad dressing is great on any mango salad variation.
The Thai Mango Salad we often get at Thai restaurants has mango, sweet red peppers, red onion, nuts and the dressing. Mangoes are expensive where I live, so I often add them to a mesclun salad. This way, it makes everything stretch a bit more and we can serve more people (or people can have extra helpings of salad).
I love this salad dressing so much that I even use it on other salads like this kale salad below.
This Thai Mango Salad pairs well with this AMAZING Homemade Pad Thai!
If you try this Thai Mango Salad recipe at home, let me know what you think!