When you say to your family that you’re having salad with dinner, most people wouldn’t immediately think “mango”! But, I’m here to tell you that this Thai mango salad is one of the best salads I’ve made in a long time. The sweet and tangy flavors mix perfectly with each other, and the nutty flavor of sesame seeds and chopped peanuts takes this dish to a whole other level of satisfying crunch. If you’re looking for a new classic salad that will have people raving, this is the one.
The dressing for this fresh salad is made from soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and tahini. This potent combo might not sound like much, but when you pour it over the mango and vegetables something magical happens.
The dressing goes so well with the produce in the salad because combined there are all 4 of the flavors of Thai cooking involved. In the Thai tradition of cooking the 4 flavors to achieve are sour, sweet, creamy, and salty. When these flavors work in harmony the taste is unlike any other- with a result that’s hard to define and almost impossible to forget.
It’s like someone made a symphony of tastes that takes you on a journey. It can be difficult to get it just right, especially when you’re making cooked food or adding in any level of chili pepper heat. Thankfully, this recipe uses no chili pepper at all and takes just a few minutes to whip up. And, with no “cooking” the vibrant flavors of the produce really comes through.
Because this recipe adds some sweet and sour flavors to the mango with the dressing, you don’t need to worry if your mangoes are perfectly ripe. In fact, slightly underripe mangoes work well for this salad since they hold up better to the acidic dressing. You’ll need to use yellow mangoes, which are smaller in size. However, their flavor makes them ideal for this Thai salad.
If you had told me that I’d fall in love with a green pepper and mango salad before this recipe came into my life, I would have argued mightily with you. I don’t even really like green peppers, but in this salad they are perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the mango and the sharpness of the red onion.
Then there’s the cilantro to bring some lightness and complexity to the the flavor. The final touch of the sesame and peanuts makes this a salad you don’t want to stop eating. The first time I made this for my friends and family they couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. Now, it’s a dish they ask for often!
For a taste of what makes Thai cooking so amazing (and a chance to “eat the rainbow”) this healthy Thai mango salad is the perfect dish to wake up your senses.
Thai Mango Salad
20m prep time
1 cook time
- 3 yellow mangoes (like Alphonso or Champagne/Ataulfo), peeled and sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- 2 1/2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, divided
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- Combine vegetables and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix together soy sauce and vinegar. Whisk in olive oil and tahini and blend until smooth. Mix in most of the sesame seeds.
- Pour dressing over salad and top with peanuts and remaining sesame seeds.
Recipe adapted from Ahead of Thyme.