This tossed green salad with fresh mango and basil dressing is entirely scrumptious. The texture is light and flavorful - great as a side dish with nearly any meal. It can also be made into a dinner or lunch salad by tossing in with scallops or tofu. And you don't need to worry about the 'ripeness' of the mango - anywhere from semi-ripe to fully ripe will work, as sweet-sour flavors work beautifully with Thai food. Many thanks to my good friend Peco and also to Chiro, her cooking assistant, for this delicious recipe!
- 4 cups lettuce (or a combination of mixed greens enough for 2 people)
- 1 mango (semi-ripe to ripe)
- 1 small bell pepper (red, cubed or sliced)
- 1 carrot (sliced into thin sticks or grated)
- 1/2 to 1 cup cucumber (sliced)
- 1/4 cup peanuts (dry-roasted, or cashews)
- Basil Dressing:
- 15-20 basil leaves (or up to 25 if leaves are small)
- 1 scallions (sliced, including green stem)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (OR soy sauce if vegetarian)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar (or palm sugar)
- Optional: 1 clove garlic
- Rinse fresh greens and use a salad spinner to dry. Place in a salad bowl.
- Add all the other vegetables.
- Slice the mango on either side of the stone and scoop out the fruit. Slice fruit up into cubes (see photo instructions: How to Cut a Mango.) Add mango cubes to the salad.
- To make the dressing, place all Basil Dressing ingredients in a mini chopper, food processor or blender. Blitz to create a delicious basil dressing.
- Drizzle dressing over salad (use a spoon to scrape it all out). Then toss well.
- Add nuts and toss again. Top with a few more nuts and enjoy!
Basil Dressing Tips:
This dressing should be used up within 24 hours. If not, you can freeze it in a small Tupperware-type container. This dressing also makes a wonderful dip as well as a marinade for chicken, fish, and shrimp.
Variations of this Salad:
- Add cooked shrimp, simply boiled or grilled
- Add fried tofu, cut into cubes
- Add grilled chicken (recommended: Easy Honey-Garlic Grilled Chicken)
- If you can't find mango, try it with papaya or fresh pineapple instead!
Why Thai Salads Are Better Than the Usual Salad Bar Fare:
Thai salads are low in fat and calories (e.g. this one is fat-free!), yet extremely high in taste. In fact, I've had a lot of people write in to tell me how much weight they've lost since introducing my salads into their diets. Aside from the low-fat/calorie content, Thai salads are very healthy and beautiful to serve, and the uniqueness of Thai salads means they're always popular with guests.