Welcome back to the kitchen and the second installment of Khmer cooking with The Youngrens. I hope you enjoyed the trip to the Cambodian market yesterday, smells and everything! Last week, we featured Jeff’s appetizer of Khmer Spring Rolls, so this week its my turn to show off my crazy appetizer-making-skilz with a little something I like to call Mango Salad. Actually everybody calls it Mango Salad. But so do I. So there.
At first, I was a little skeptical that I would actually like this recipe, because when I think of mangoes, I think of sweet, squishy, juicy, ripened fruit. So I thought I would be making the kind of juicy fruit salad that stars in hot summer potlucks – you know, the kind of fruit salad that comes from a can and is covered in coconut shavings and marshmallows? Why would I come all the way to Cambodia to make a fruit casserole when my cousins from Oklahoma already have a killer recipe floating around the family archives? But when I had the choice of making this salad or a dish that started with the word “squid”, I chose the mango salad.
But I’m fairly naive. As you can see from the picture below, this salad is nothing like the fruit cocktails at the Easter potluck at church. Its actually a salad. A yummy, mouth watering salad. As always, the full recipe is at the bottom of this post, but if you enjoy a little imagery and step-by-step story-telling, keep reading.
As you saw at the market yesterday, the main ingredient of this salad is a green unripened mango. So no squishy, juicy fruit here. You’ll use the same ridged veggie peeler that we used for the spring rolls to grate the entire mango into thin strips.
This is the base of the salad, and its so yummy!
Next, grate a small piece of carrot until you’re satisfied. Everything about this recipe can be modified to your own taste and liking, which is what I love about these kinds of dishes.
Slice some small red onions into thin pieces and sprinkle over your salad.
Then add some fresh basil leaves.
For the dressing, add a tiny bit of sugar, some crushed peanuts, and a sweet italian dressing of your choice. Nara (our teacher) already had a dressing pre-made, but it tasted just like any italian dressing you can get in the store.
Toss everything together and serve. This salad is extremely easy, and its incredibly refreshing on a hot afternoon. This will be perfect for summer potlucks, barbecues, parties, or just lunches. The basil and onions add a sweet aroma to the dish, and the sugar makes the crunchy mango super tasty.
- One green, unripened mango, peeled
- One small carrot, peeled
- Five or six fresh basil leaves
- Two small red onions
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
- Italian dressing of your choice
Grate the entire mango and carrot into thin slices into a large bowl. Add the basil leaves, whole. Slice the onion into thin slices and add to mango mixture along with sugar, peanuts, and dressing to taste. Toss and serve.