We love this Cambodian Green Mango Salad for two reasons: It’s crunchy and healthy, yet smothered in natural zesty flavour, and it’s SUPER easy to make. So how did we come across it? Well it all started out as a bit of a mistake. Yep.
We’ve spent the last few weeks wandering through Cambodia, where we finally found an awesome Airbnb apartment to stay for a few days in Phnom Penh. Can you even imagine our excitement when we realised we had access to a kitchen again?
There was a lot of smiling, and a lot of happy. So much happy. EEEEeeeee.
Was there dancing? Never… *cough*
We immediately set out to find the nearest local fresh food market and see what goodies we could find for lunch. Surrounded by the swirling sights, sounds (and smells, not gonna to lie) of the marketplace, we bartered our way to a bag full of limes, chillis, dried shrimp, peanuts, beans, and what we thought was a crunchy little green papaya.
Feeling pretty good with ourselves, we chopped and sliced and pounded until our magnificent little salad was ready to eat. Mouths watering, we chinked our forks (our ‘meal-ly’ ritual) and scooped up a bite.
Turns out we’d bought green mango instead of papaya.
How do you even get that wrong?
Turns out it was the best mistake ever. Not only had we whipped up a damn tasty little creation, but we’d actually stumbled across a Cambodian recipe.
Just like Thailand’s Green Papaya Salad (which we’d kinda planned to make), Cambodian Green Mango Salad is full of natural flavours and colours to brighten up your day.
And when you can whip up a batch in less than 5 minutes, how can you resist?
(Why would you?)
We sliced our green papayamango the way we’d seen the stallholders in Thailand do it, by making cuts across the outside of the fruit and then shaving off long thin slices, almost a lazy julienne style. Just be careful of your fingers if you try this please!
You could also use a veggie slicer or grater if you have one handy.
The dressing itself couldn’t be easier. Just add the tomatoes, long green beans and shallots to a mortar and gently smack with the pestle to release all that wondrously fragrant flavour. If you don’t have a mortar handy you can easily substitute with a bowl, a spoon or fork and a bit of enthusiastic bashing. Remember Noi’s advice to kill it.
But before you get too crazy – we don’t want a mushy mess here guys. We want to keep that crispy crunch and get all that super juicy flavour goodness soaking through the mango.
Quick question: Do you like it spicy?
I mean do you really like it spicy? Just a little bit, or not at all? Because this salad superstar can be tricked up from a subtle little tingle on your tongue or all the way up to a tear-inducing furnace in your face…
The power is in your hands (and that bird’s eye chilli). Give it a little bash with the back of your knife and pop in with your dressing ingredients to release a bit of that heat, or slice and dice for the full effect.
Whatever you do, don’t rub your eyes after this. Like I did. It will only end in tears. Trust me.
Now all you need to do is scoop that dressing over your freshly sliced mango and revel in the deliciousness.
So there you have it. A quick and healthy salad you can whip up in minutes, just the way you like it!
Have you ever had a mistake in the kitchen lead to an awesome dish on the table? Share your disastrously awesome kitchen tales in the comments below 😉
- 1 green mango unripe
- 2 tomatoes quartered
- 1 cup long beans chopped into 2 cm pieces
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp
- 1-2 tsp lemongrass sliced thinly
- 1-2 shallots finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp kaffir lime juice
- 2 tbsp peanuts crushed
- 1 chilli birds eye, sliced thin
- Julienne slice the mango and set aside.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a mortar and pestle and gently pound to release the flavour of each ingredient. Remember we don't want a mushy mess here!
- Pour the dressing over the mango slice and garnish with the crushed peanuts.
- Serve immediately.
- Don't be afraid to adjust the amount of each ingredient until the flavour suits your own personal taste!
- For a vegetarian version omit the dried shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce.