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.
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.
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.
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients. If your mortar and pestle is not big enough, pound in batches and transfer to a large salad bowl for tossing. Season the salad dressing to taste accordingly - it should be a balance of hot, salty, sour and sweet.
Prep Time: 20 mins