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Thai Green Mango Salad

Thai green mango salad

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Thai green mango salad (Som Tum Mamuang) is my favourite Thai salad, filled with a burst of tropical flavours – fruity, hot, sweet, sour and salty. This recipe is no-cook, so it is truly fuss-free and convenient.

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When I ate at my favourite Thai green papaya salad eatery in Bangkok, I remember sitting near the kitchen and constantly hearing the sound of ingredients being pounded – a traditional mortar & pestle is necessary to make this salad. Pounding the ingredients before adding them to the salad allow their aromatic flavours to be released and infused with the deliciously savoury fish sauce dressing. For freshness, shred the green mango shortly before serving.

Thai green mango salad

Tips for making Thai Green Mango Salad
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  • For the green mango to stay fresh and crunchy, shred them just before serving. If you are not going to serve the salad right away, soaking the shredded mango in ice water bath (drain the mango and pat dry with paper towel afterwards) will help preserve the crunchiness.
  • I can’t find Thai dried shrimps (which I personally think is different from our local dried shrimps in that it tastes more palatable without cooking), so I substituted this recipe with Japanese baby dried shrimps, with great success.
  • You can substitute green mango with green papaya to make Thai green papaya salad (Som Tum), or add other ingredients like boiled prawns, cucumbers and cashew nuts for a more varied creation.
  • Authentic Thai recipes uses palm sugar for the sweetness, but I used honey as a convenient substitute.
  • You may julienne (which means to shred to long thin strips) the mango by using a knife, but a zigzag peeler or mandoline slicer will do the trick quickly & effortlessly.
  • Although you may substitute Thai green mango with unripe mango, I personally prefer the Thai variety which is sold specifically in its unripe form for salad dishes, as they are not sour or tongue biting like some varieties of unripe mangoes. I found my Thai green mango from Sheng Shiong supermarket, Singapore.
  • Different brands of fish sauce have varying degree of saltiness, so adjust the salad dressing to taste accordingly.

Leave a Comment

14 Responses to “Thai Green Mango Salad”

  1. B — July 23, 2013 @ 12:28 am

    Flavourful and crunchy, very delicious appetizer!


  2. Kimmy — July 23, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    Hi, I love Asian salads. This is one of them. Yours is so delicately prepared. Nice and thanks for sharing.


  3. Jac — July 23, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Awesome! Where do you buy your zigzag peeler in Singapore?


    • wiffy replied: — July 23rd, 2013 @ 11:20 am

      Hi, I got mine from the demo booths at Isetan Scotts.


  4. Little Corner of Mine — July 24, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

    Looks refreshing and delicious! Love Thai mango salad!


  5. sminty@themoodkitchen — July 24, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    This is a must-eat dish for me whenever I go Bangkok. Yours look super flavourful and yummy!


  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes — July 24, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    A lovely summer salad!


  7. Wandering Chopsticks — August 6, 2013 @ 1:29 am

    My mouth is literally salivating at the tart/sweet flavor of this salad. Sounds so good in the middle of summer right now.


  8. Jan — September 1, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

    Hi, may I know where to get Japanese dried shrimps? Thanks


    • wiffy replied: — September 1st, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      I got mine from NTUC finest. I think you can get it at the Japanese dried foods section of most supermarkets.


  9. Embrace — September 13, 2013 @ 3:57 pm


    I’m addicted to your blog and have benefitted a lot, thanks! I’ve found your blog while searching for Teochew style steamed fish maybe 2 years ago…

    Loved the presentation of your Thai mango salad, kudos to ya. This is an appetizer which both my wife and I loved albeit she like it with less heat and I like it real fiery hot. I made it a bit differently though, instead of pounding in mortar and pestle (“Tam” in Thai), I toss/mix the ingredients in a salad bowl (“Yam” in Thai). Hence the Thais call it “Yam Mamuang”.

    I noticed that shops / restaurants (e.g. Diandin Leluk @ Golden Mile Complex, Beach Rd) that sells this salad need not put a lot of chili to make the salad burning hot… and I’ve to like use almost 20 bird’s eye chili (finely sliced & unseeded so you’ll actually eat the chili bits!!!) or 10 over of them plus 1 or 2 more tbsp of dried hot Thai chili powder (Raitip brand, available @ NTUC) to attain similar effect. Any advise or are there any secrets on this?




    • wiffy replied: — September 14th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

      Hi Embrace, it sounds to me that you know more about Thai cooking than me :) wow, 20 bird’s eye chilli?! Even with 3-5 chilli, my salad is already very hot to me, and I have been known to have a pretty good threshold for spicy foods. I’m not sure whats their secret to make the salad burning hot, have you tried spicy hot oil “la Yu” (the Japanese type). Sometimes I like to sneak a bit of that into food to up their spiciness.


      • Embrace replied: — September 14th, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

        Greetings Wiffy!

        Haha, you flattered me. I don’t know a lot about Thai cuisine, just that I’m inquisitive and like to read a lot and learn how to cook. I’m a novice at cooking but I really loved foods and many kinds of them (especially hot & spicy stuffs), all thanks to the being a Singaporean and I’m proud to say eating is our national past time LOL!

        I did also consult my dad (we’re both foodies) on the “heat level” issue of chilies and he told me that ingredients sold to restaurants are different grades from those we can get our hands on in supermarkets, that’s why they have better chilies, fishes & beef steaks etc… no sure how true it is though. I know “La Yu” but I’ve not tried the in the salad yet cos its not gonna be hot enough for me. I think I gotta go buy a bottle of pure capsaicin essence oil (if there’s any around)… I seriously have a very high level of threshold for spicy foods.

        I hope one day I can write a food blog like you too, let’s 加油!


  10. Sarah & Arkadi — December 1, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    We absolutely love green mango salad! We have tried it also in Thailand! It’s very refreshing!