Thai – Mango Salad

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There is an enormous selection of mangoes available worldwide. Each type has its own characteristic texture and flavour but they are mostly served fully ripen. This recipe calls for unripened mangoes! Crunchy, light mango flavour and oh so refreshing. Without a doubt, this salad is an appetite stimulant.

Our local wet markets sell green mangoes (“green” refers to unripe mangoes) which are most widely used for salads. They can also be pickled or dried. There are a few varieties and it is best to speak with your green grocer for his advice as some are more fragrant and sweeter whilst others are more tart. Green mangoes are very hard when gently pressed. Not meaning to add to your confusion, there are ripe mangoes which are green in colour but they tend to be fragrant, exhibit sap around the stalk end and there is a give when gently pressed.

May I suggest this Salad as the appetizer for steam boat meal at this year’s Chinese New Year Reunion dinner? Green mangoes keep for about a week in the refrigerator, Hae Bee Hiam can be prepared weeks ahead. This Salad is such a delicious dish to abate those hunger pangs whilst everyone is patiently for the various meats and vegetables to cook in that boiling pot of chicken broth.

Several ingredients in this salad augurs well with food symbolism at Chinese New Year. Peanuts (花生; huāshēng) symbolises health, long life, birth of prosperity, continuous growth, multiplication in wealth and good fortune, stability; Prawns/Shrimp (小虾; xiǎoxiā) relates to happiness and good fortune. Fresh fruits is symbolic of life and new beginnings.

Wishing those of my readers who celebrate Chinese New Year 万事如意  (Wànshì rúyì).

Some Comments about the Ingredients

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Unripened Mangoes. Photo above shows the larger variety of green mango. They are slightly sweet and fragrant. Well, if these are not available, an unripe papaya is an excellent substitute. Buy them in the local wet markets or at your Asian grocery.

Hae Bee Hiam. Otherwise also known as Sambal Hae Bee. Using this means a short cut to a more delicious Salad. Click here for the recipe. Substitute using pre-soaked dried shrimp which has been cleaned, roughly chopped and lightly fried in a greased saucepan/wok.

Chopped dry roasted groundnuts.  Finely chop some ready dry roasted peanuts. Click here for how to dry roast these. Some grocery stores or supermarkets sell packets of these, already finely chopped.

Limau Purut leaves. Kaffir Lime leaves. Substitute with some Thai sweet basil leaves. You can use both in the salad if you like.

Optional Items.  Fresh Steamed Prawns. I like to add these when I am preparing a simple meal for my family and guests. Use these if you are not keen on the stronger flavour of Sambal Hae Bee.

Preparation Hints

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When it comes to shredding, I have not found a better shredder than this Benriner slicer. This slicer gives you clean and precise shreds.

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Most helpful to “Chiffonade” the leafy herbs. This is a chopping technique in which herbs or leafy vegetables such as spinach are cut into long, thin strips (little ribbons in French).This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll.

RECIPE

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 450 to 500 gm unripe green mangoes (peeled and finely shredded. Usually 2 large ones will yield this amount of flesh)
  • 4 to 6 young Limau purut leaves (these vary in size as well. Use less if th eleaves are mature)
    2 to 3 red chillies, de-seed and shred thinly
    3 to 4 Tbsp Hae Bee Hiam o( pre-soaked, roughly chopped and toasted dried prawns)
  • Optional
    8 medium prawns, steamed and shelled

Dressing for Salad (just a guide as there are several types of green mangoes available in the local wet markets)

  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Prepare the mango (or papaya), fresh prawns, dried prawns ( if not using hae bee hiam), onion, red chillies, limau purut leaves. Set them aside till just before serving.
  2. Prepare the seasoning.  Bear in mind that this may have to be adjusted slightly to suit the shredded mango. Make a tasting portion of the Mango Salad as a guide. Adjust amount of sugar and lime juice, as needed. Set Aside.
  3. Just before serving, assemble into an adequately sized bowl or into individual dishes. Portions will be small.

Other Serving Suggestions

For a Chinese New Year celebratory meal. Amongst the many recipes which have laready been posted, the following ones are some suggestions.

Chinese Soups

1. Jin Hua Ham and Winter Melon Soup. Click here.

2. Pork Stomach with Peppercorn. Click here

Seafood dishes

1. Dry Assam Seafood. Click here

2. Fried Fish with Fermented Black Bean Sauce. Click here.

3. Stuffed You Tiao (Baked).  Click here.

Meat dishes

1. Beef Rendang (spicy). Click here

2. Singapore Curry Chicken (spicy). Click here.

3. Quick Braised Sea cucumber, Chicken and Mushroom. Click here.

4. Cha Siu or BBQ Pork. Click here.

Vegetable Dishes

1. Spinach in Broth with 3 types of eggs. Click here.

2. Pork, Spinach and Egg Stir Fry. Click here.

3. Shanghai Cabbage with Oyster Sauce & Garlic. Click here.

4. Ladies Fingers with Dried Sambal Prawns. Click here.

Dessert

Any one of the following desserts will be welcomed.

1. Almond Jelly + Longans Click here.

2. Coconut Jelly with Can Lychees. Click here.

3. Sago Pudding. Click here.

4. Orange Agar Agar. Click here. This one is especially appropriate.

5. Caramel Custard. Click here.

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