The mangoes in the Philippines are fantastic and mango fruit shakes are very popular here. We enjoy eating the mangoes simply as they are and in smoothies. But I was also inspired to create a mango salad incorporating some wonderful fresh herbs from the local market.
I’ve previously posted a delicious recipe for a Thai Green Mango Salad with Jungle Peanuts. Today’s offering is a lighter version of a Thai mango salad that is more suitable for those of you following a low fat raw vegan diet.
Green mangoes can be very refreshing but they are essentially unripe, which is contraindicated for healing diets. Unripe fruits often produce digestive disturbance and their high level of acids can potentially increase tooth sensitivity, even damaging the tooth enamel if consumed frequently and in large amounts.
While probably alright occasionally, it is best to limit your intake of unripe fruits, and if you are attempting to heal a chronic illness, I would recommend avoiding them completely.
So in this recipe, unlike most recipes for Thai mango salad, I use perfectly ripe sweet mangoes.
Thai food is known for its unique balance of sweet, sour, salty and pungent flavors. The mangoes contribute the sweet flavor in this salad, which can be enhanced if you like by the addition of a little stevia, or another sweetener of your choice.
A squeeze of lime adds a sour component that balances the sweetness of the mangoes. And to provide the characteristic Thai flavor we use ginger, chili, shallots, basil, cilantro and mint. The herbs also add a freshness and liveliness to the dish.
I recommend removing the seeds of the bird’s eye chili because they are extremely hot; that is, unless you really love spicy food.
For the salty element I used a dash of Himalayan salt, but if you prefer to avoid salt you can simply leave it out. An alternative would to add a dash of tamari, which can increase the depth of flavor.
Light and Fresh Thai Mango Salad
2 cups mango, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful each of chopped cilantro, mint and basil
1/2-1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2-1 birds eye chili
3 shallots, diced
Juice of 1/2-1 lime
Pinch of Himalayan salt or 1/2 tablespoon tamari (optional)
Stevia, agave, raw honey or coconut sugar to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the levels of spice, salt and lime juice according to your preference. Divide between individual serving plates.
If desired drizzle with olive oil. This is entirely optional but can help to enhance and unite the flavors, as well as increase the absorption of nutritional components including beta-carotene and minerals.
My husband doesn’t generally enjoy salad that much, especially ones that are lower in fat, but he really liked this one. Because this recipe is low in calories it might not be enough for a meal for most people but it would make a wonderful first course for an Asian inspired menu.
To make it more substantial you could consider serving the salad alongside fresh spring rolls with Sweet and Spicy Mango Sauce, or perhaps an Asian wild rice salad.
I hope you enjoy it!