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|
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!
YAM MAMUANG (GREEN MANGO SALAD) WITH LEMONGRASS
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.