24 April 2013

Yam mamuang (green mango salad) with lemongrass

Though it's soon coming up on a year and a half since we've been in Thailand, I still sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming, food-wise (and also beach-wise, sunshine-wise, massage-wise, shopping-wise, rooftop bar-wise and smiling people-wise LOL). There are just no words to describe how amazing Thai food is! And I feel unbelievably lucky to have year-round and cheap access to so much incredible produce that is tough to find and/or very expensive back in Europe or North America...things like tender coconuts, watermelon, pineapples, papayas, Thai basil, lemongrass and of course my ultimate favorite...green mangoes!

Incredible Thai produce - photo by Dawn Cole
The most iconic Thai dish with green mango is undoubtedly yam mamuang, or green mango salad. Lesser known that the more popular som tam (green papaya salad), but in my opinion better! Thus no surprise that it was one of the first Thai dishes that I made upon settling in here (and of course I posted the recipe here). Like most Thai salads (yam), it's a cinch to make...all you need is a mortar and pestle. Today, I decided to add lemongrass to my yam mamuang, to give it a bit of a twist. Ever since having an amazing lemongrass salad at a restaurant here, I've come to appreciate that lemongrass doesn't just have to be pounded and thrown in whole as an aromatic element to dishes...it can very much be eaten...you just have to chop it very finely, separate the rings and then chop even more, as in the picture below.

This gave a wonderful twist to the salad, as did a touch of tamarind in the dressing (usually only lime juice is added for tartness). Try this the traditional way, with some sticky rice on the side!

Serves 1-2

1 green mango, peeled and shredded or chopped into small matchstick-sized pieces
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 tablespoons very finely chopped lemongrass as in the photo (the bottom half of one stalk, outer layer removed)
2 (or more or less, depending on your taste) bird's eye chilies, chopped in half
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
Juice of 1 small lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or fish sauce for non-vegetarians)
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
Red spur chilies or other red chilies of your choice, for garnish
Fresh coriander, for garnish (optional)

1. Put the mango, shallot and lemongrass into a bowl.

2. In a Thai-style mortar (or a large, deep bowl), add the chilies, peanuts, lime juice, tamarind, soy sauce and sugar. Pound everything well (very well!) with a pestle until well mixed and the chilies are broken down and disintegrating. Make sure you really pounded well!

3. Add the mango, shallot and lemongrass and mix everything well with a large spoon.

4. Serve in a bowl or plate, garnished with red spur chilies and optional fresh coriander.


  1. Looks delicious and beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks great! I loved eating in Thailand. Everything was so wonderful, cheap and delicious!! Thinking about the food there makes me drool. If anyone has any idea where to get green mango in NYC please let me know!

    1. You can find green mangoes in Indian grocery stores.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Lemongrass and mango! I can only imagine how amazing this fragrant dish is! YUM!