So, I’ve been greedily feeding myself with Hoa Loc mangoes, grown only along Mekong Delta here in Vietnam. This particular kind of mango is badass. So fragrant, sweet, fleshy and damnfinitely tasty. Just couldn’t get enough of it! I’ve also learned from the locals that Hoa Loc is pronounced as Hoa Lap. Ohhhhh kayyyy. However, as of last week instead of Hoa Loc, I was frantically looking for green sour mangoes all over Ho Chi Minh City. I was getting a lil sour, couldn’t find even one green sour mango. The lady working in the organic shop I always go to shyly asked me why was I looking for firm sour mangoes when I can enjoy soft, delicious and ripe mangoes? To make Thai mango salad of course!
I was craving for a good Thai mango salad with fried fish. My friends, green sour mango is the key ingredient to the recipe, we want the crunch and sourness only a green mango can do. In the end after a couple of more attempts, I bought a Keow mango instead as green mangoes were not in sight. So if you can get your hands on green sour mango, that would be ideal. In my case, I gotta make do with what I can find right? As Keow mango is sweet, I used 1 teaspoon instead of 2 tablespoons of palm sugar. Thais will normally toss some roasted cashew nuts to this dish. Not only I do not have green mango it seems I also do not have cashew nuts nor peanuts at that time so if you do, toss it in!
1 green sour mango, julienned
5 – 10 Red bird’s eye chillies, cut (adjust to your liking)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of palm sugar/brown sugar/sugar
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 – 3 small shallots, sliced
Cilantro leaves to garnish
1 carrot, julienned
Roasted cashew nuts/peanuts
A bit of flour
First, to make the mango salad, in a mortar, pound the bird’s eye chillies to a rough paste, add palm sugar and gently mash them. Then add fish sauce and lime juice. Transfer to a bowl. Add shallots and julienned mango. You should adjust the taste according to your liking – it should be spicy, sour, salty and slightly sweet. Set aside.
Dust the fish with some flour and salt, fry fish over a medium heat, skin down. Fry until golden brown. Remove fish from wok on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Then, place the fish to your serving plate. Now, put the mango salad on top of the fish or on side it is entirely up to you. Sprinkle some cashew nuts and coriander on top of the fish. Now, enjoy your on its own or with rice!