This salad will blow you away with its tastebud-awakening flavors and mix of textures. And as a bonus, it’s very healthy, plus low in calories and fat. Enjoy it as a complete meal by adding cooked shrimp, chicken, or deep-fried tofu if you are vegetarian. Any way you toss it, this healthy salad will be sure to win rave reviews from all your culinary fans!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 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 coriander
- 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 or shrimp, or fried tofu if vegetarian/vegan (cut into small cubes)
- Optional: 1 fresh-cut red chili
- SALAD DRESSING:
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, OR 4 Tbsp.soy sauce if vegetarian/vegan
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, or more to taste
- 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce, OR substitute 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
- 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.
- 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.
- Using a sharp pairing knife, peel skin from mangoes. The flesh of the mango should be firm and light yellow-orange (note: the photo above was taken in direct sunlight and is brighter than usual).
- 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.
- Add the bean sprouts, coriander, spring onions, cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu (if using), the fresh-cut chili, plus half the toasted coconut. Toss well to combine.
- 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.
- 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