A taste of summer : vietnamese mango salad recipe




I heart mango !  From crunchy green sour mango to jelly-like sweet golden mango, I eat them all !!! Yum !  When my friend Nancy had me over at her place, some summer ago, for sour mango salad, I was curious about the taste.  I never had Vietnamese sour mango salad before that day and I am so glad she made it.  It was very tasty and quickly became my favorite salad.  

I enjoy it so much I decided to steal her recipe and alter it because I want to keep it simple.  I like cooking but my style is fast and furious :)  I want to get in and out of the kitchen in as little amount of time as possible.  So my preference for this salad is simple, green Mexican mangos, prawns, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander (?)) and Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc mam toi).  There's no hard to find sour mango imported directly from the country side of Vietnam or difficult prepping techniques !  Oh and very little chili !  Wahhhat ?  I know, I'm a weakling.  I am the odd nammer that can't handle the heat :)

Here a super easy and tasty recipe that serves 4 (side dish):

Ingredients:

- 2 medium mangos (Mexico, firm/hard, look for green skin or green with tint of red)
- 1 bunch of rau ram or Thai basil

Dressing:
If you know how to make Vietnamese dipping sauce (recipe here if you don't) then use that sauce instead of the dressing, but if you in a rush like me:) the dressing below works just as well  :)

- 1 green lime (to yield about 1 1/2 table spoon of lime juice)
- 1 heaping table spoon of good fish sauce (what's good fish sauce ?  The one that's more than $5 a bottle :)  I use the 3 crabs , 5 crabs, and Red Boat brand.)
- 2 table spoon of organic sugar (1 1/2 white sugar)

* OPTIONAL ADD ONS *

- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 orange bell pepper (or any color of pepper)
- prawns (boil, remove shells, slice in half length wise)
- lean pork (boil, thinly sliced into strips)
- thinly sliced cucumber (seeds removed)
- baby tomatoes (cut in half)
- chopped chilies if you like it spicy

Instructions:

> Peel the mangos, slice into 1/5 of an inch thin slices, stack the slices and cut into thin strips
> Put mango strips and other add ons that you like into a deep bowl

> Tear rau ram and/or basil leaves into small pieces (or roughly chopped them) and add to the mix (more or less to your liking)

> Mix lime juice, fish sauce and sugar (and chilies if using)

> Pour dressing into salad mix and toss around to evenly mix the ingredients

> Let them soak in the dressing for about 20 min. before serving !

*** NOTE *** This dish is very forgiving because the flavour of the mango overcomes all others :) so you don't have to measure the dressing to a T !  Depending on the sweetness or sourness of the mango, you can adjust the sugar, lime and fish sauce to your liking.  

Enjoy !
  

This salad is just with mango, a bit of minced chili, and rau ram (vietnamese corriander, only avail. at vietnamese supermarket and sometime T&T) in vietnamese fish dipping sauce