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Authentic Thai Mango Salad Recipe

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Authentic Thai mango salad recipe is the perfect way to kick-start your summer. Bursting with color, it’s light yet fulfilling, and full of crunchy freshness. This dish is made with traditional ingredients, so here’s your invitation to add your favorite vegetables. The highlight is a simple yet kicking Thai-style dressing that balances spicy, sweet, and salty flavors. No matter what you put in it, it’s going to come out amazing!

Authentic Thai mango salad featuring chili flakes, crispy fish snacks, and fine slices of shallots, with a wooden fork serving a portion.

What is Thai mango salad

Raw mango salad, or ‘yum mamuang’ as we call it locally, is a delightful variation of the iconic som tum Thai. Som tum is a popular green papaya salad that can be found all over the street food markets of Bangkok and northeastern Thailand’s Isan region.

The beauty of Thai salads is their reflection of the signature Thai flavors – spicy, sweet, tangy, and salty. This is true for the dressing of this fruit salad, a well-balanced mix of fish sauce, fresh lime juice, and palm sugar. I like to add some Thai chili flakes for extra smokiness, but if you can’t find these, fresh chili peppers work great too.

Close-up of raw Thai mango salad prepared with shallots, crispy fish snacks, and more traditional ingredients.

The key component of this healthy salad is shredded green mango. Unripe green mango is tangy and goes really well with the mild flavor of shallots and crunchy peanuts. Sometimes, dried mini shrimp is added for an extra flavor.

Authentic Thai salad recipe

What’s great about this recipe is how simple it is. There’s no need for a bunch of ingredients. Just the right amount of traditional ones to make a fresh and healthy green mango salad.

Fruit salad with slices of green mango, shallots, and a tangy spicy dressing.

It’s amazing how quickly Thai salads come together, often prepared with a mortar and pestle. There’s barely any cooking or cleanup. With a clay mortar and wooden pestle, you can lightly crush and bruise the ingredients to release their natural juices and aroma. But this recipe doesn’t even need one, a simple large mixing bowl will work just fine.

How to customize

This dish is easy to customize, and allows you to adjust to your taste preference and toss in your favorite vegetables.

  • Make it into a vegan salad by swapping the fish sauce for vegan fish sauce.
  • Make it protein-rich by adding grilled chicken, pork, beef, grilled shrimp, or tofu. Just cut the meat in thin bite-sized pieces and avoid overcooking it. Make sure it’s soft and tender. Alternatively to grilling, you can cook the meat with 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and 1/8 cup of water to make it tender and give it a tangy note.
Traditional Thai mango salad coated with spices, presented on a banana leaf with a wooden spoon.
  • You can easily adjust the spiciness of this dish. Add more or less dried chili flakes to taste. If you prefer, you can use fresh chilies. For a spicy kick, use Thai chilies. If you’re not a spice-lover, use mild chilies or sliced bell peppers. Most of the spicy flavor is in the seeds, so remove those if you like.
  • The original version of this salad doesn’t have many vegetables. But you can make it more healthy and nutritious by tossing in your favorite greens. My suggestions: crunchy cucumber, fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro and coriander, spring onions, or cabbage. Keep in mind that adding these veggies are not considered authentic Thai mango salad ingredients.

Green mango

This recipe is made with one of my favorite fruits: the unripe green mango. Our garden in Thailand has many mango trees, and I love to eat this tangy fruit on its own as well. I love slicing them into crisp slices, which are excellent to pair with my mango dipping sauce. They’re perfect as a snack and make an incredibly refreshing base for a traditional Thai salad.

Thai woman presenting plate of Thai mango dipping sauce.

The sourness of green mangoes pairs perfectly with the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors from the other ingredients. Thai cuisine can be so wonderful!

For this recipe, we’re staying true to tradition, with a sharp knife we’ll slice the mango into thin strips. If you find it more comfortable, feel free to use a julienne peeler or shredder. The aim is to slice the mango in thin slices to soak up the flavors while still having a crunch.

How to shred mango

A thinly sliced mango easily soaks up dressing flavors, just like a shredded green papaya. The process is pretty much the same.

3 step-by-step instructional steps for how to shred green mango.

First, peel the skin off the mango using a vegetable peeler. Next, chop into the mango flesh with a sharp knife, making incisions. Finally, shave off these cut sections with your knife, resulting in thin slices. This is the traditional Thai way, if you feel more comfortable, you can use a julienne peeler.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Shredded mango, Thai fish snacks, sliced shallots, dried chili flakes, fish sauce, roasted peanuts, and palm sugar presented in clay cups on a banana leaf.
  • Green mango – When choosing green mangoes, select those that are firm to the touch, the firmer, the better. If they’re a bit soft, they’ve already started ripening, those will be a bit sweet instead of tangy. You can make an alternative version of this dish with a ripe mango as well, but that’s not what we’re doing in this recipe.
  • Shallots – Shallots are finely sliced and added to the salad, they bring a nice slight crunch with subtly sweet flavors. Select fresh shallots for the best flavor.
  • PeanutsDry roasted peanuts are a game-changer, they add an extra nutty flavor and crunch. Choose unsalted, shelled peanuts for roasting.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar adds a rich sweetness with a caramel-like flavor, and it’s a healthier alternative to white sugar. Chop to make it easier to measure.
  • Fish sauce – Fish sauce, a key ingredient in Thai cuisine, is typically made from fermented fish and salt. In this recipe it adds a salty note which balances the sour, sweet, and spicy flavors.
  • Lime – Fresh lime juice is added for the tangy flavor. If you can get your hands on fresh green mangoes, which are naturally sour, there’s no need to add lime.
  • Thai chili flakes – Adding dried chili flakes is an easy way to give this Thai salad a spicy flavor, but you can use fresh chilies as well. If you use fresh chilies, crush them with the garlic at step 1.
  • Crispy fish – When a Thai person orders a portion of yam mamuang in Thailand, the cook will add crispy fish.
  • Dried mini shrimp – Totally optional. These add extra texture and flavor.

Step-by-step instructions

1. Make the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, combine palm sugar, dried chili flakes, fresh lime juice, and fish sauce. Mix and stir until the palm sugar is fully dissolved.Top-down view of a large mixing bowl, containing a spicy, tangy dressing.

2. Add the remaining ingredients (shredded green mango, fish snacks, roasted peanuts, shallots, and optionally dried shrimp) to the mixing bowl and gently mix until all ingredients are coated with the dressing.Overhead view of a large mixing bowl containing an Asian salad made with shredded mango and shallots.

How to serve

This salad is best enjoyed fresh. Enjoy it on its own as a healthy lunch or dinner, or pair with Thai sticky rice for a complete meal.

Serve as part of a larger meal with Thai chicken wings, Thai fried chicken, chicken pineapple fried rice, or one of my other side-dishes.

How to store

I recommend eating this spicy Thai mango salad in one go, as it’s best enjoyed fresh. The dressing will make the sliced fruits rather soggy when stored.

If you do decide to store it for later, keep the dressing and the shredded mango in separate containers in your fridge. Mix them together when you’re ready to serve.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

How to shred a green mango?

First, peel the skin off the mango using a vegetable peeler. Next, chop into the mango flesh with a sharp knife, making incisions. Finally, shave off these cut sections with your knife, resulting in thin slices. This is the traditional Thai way, if you feel more comfortable, you can use a julienne peeler.

Is Thai mango salad healthy?

Yes, Thai mango salad is a healthy meal. Mango is packed with vitamin C and nutrients. Peanuts provide healthy fats and protein, while shallots and chili peppers provide antioxidants. Palm sugar is a healthier alternative to white sugar. Fish sauce is high in sodium, so use in moderation.

How to pick a green mango?

Choose a green mango which is hard and firm to touch. If the mango can be slightly pressed, it has already started to ripen. The color should be uniform green with no bruises, cuts, or spots.

Is this salad spicy?

This salad is spicy, but you can adjust the spiciness by adding or removing dried chili flakes. Alternatively, you can use fresh chili peppers and remove their seeds, omit them entirely, or use bell peppers and slice thinly.

Can I make this vegan?

Yes, to make this into a vegan salad, simply omit the dried mini shrimp and use vegan fish sauce as an alternative to regular fish sauce.

Can I add vegetables to the salad?

Absolutely! Feel free to toss in your favorite vegetables. Cucumber, cabbage, yard-long beans, carrots, the options are endless.

Can I make this in advance?

You can make this in advance by shredding the mango and slicing the shallots beforehand. Store separately in an airtight container in your fridge. Add the dressing ingredients into a different container and store in your refrigerator as well.

More healthy Thai recipes you’ll love

  • Steamed egg with vegetables – Thai steamed eggs are deliciously soft and fluffy.
  • Thai vegetables stir-fry – This stir-fry comes together quickly and is easy to customize with your favorites healthy greens.
  • Larb gai salad – A traditional recipe for an authentic Isan-style salad with minced chicken and fresh herbs and spices.
  • Mushroom larb salad – A unique twist on the classic larb recipe with mushrooms and many spices.

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Authentic Thai Mango Salad Recipe

Authentic Thai mango salad featuring chili flakes, crispy fish snacks, and fine slices of shallots, with a wooden fork serving a portion.
This traditional recipe for Thai mango salad comes together quickly. It's spicy, tangy, salty, and sweet.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Salad
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces green mango shredded
  • 1.8 ounce shallots thinly sliced
  • 0.7 ounces peanuts roasted
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar chop to measure
  • 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
  • 1 ounce crispy fish
  • 0.7 ounces dried mini shrimp optional
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions

  • Make the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, combine palm sugar, dried chili flakes, fresh lime juice, and fish sauce. Mix and stir until the palm sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (shredded green mango, fish snacks, roasted peanuts, shallots, and optionally dried shrimp) to the mixing bowl and gently mix until all ingredients are coated with the dressing.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, the traditional version of this salad is served without.
  • Adjust the quantity of dried chili flakes to your personal spice-level, or use fresh chilies and remove the seeds.

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