This is one of my favorite salads and perfect for mango season here in South Florida. I made it as a demo for the Annual Mango Festival at the Fairchild Tropical Gardens last month and it was a hit. It is the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, salty and spicy…just how Thai food should be!
Thai Mango Cucumber Salad with Mint & Toasted Cashews
1 large tomato or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 large cucumbers, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (peeled if not organic)
1 medium semi-ripe mango, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2-3 Tablespoons coconut sugar*
2-3 Tablespoons fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce or low-sodium Tamari
2-4 fresh Thai or serrano chilies, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed**
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
Mix the lime juice, coconut sugar, chilies and garlic in a salad bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
Cut the tomato into quarters and then cut the quarters into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the bowl with the dressing. Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. You are looking for a balance between sweet, salty, acidic and spicy and you can adjust the sugar, fish sauce & lime juice accordingly.
If you have time, allow this dish to sit for 15-20 minutes for the flavors to develop. Toss well before serving.
Tips & Notes~
* The garlic is meant to be smashed so that it releases the flavors and oils. Ultimately it is not meant to be eaten so you can pick it out just before serving if desired.
**Coconut Sugar is low glycemic and very high in valuable amino acids. It can be found in the baking isle of many grocery stores. If you cannot find then brow sugar is a good substitute.
*** Fish sauce is not vegetarian, and soy sauce is not gluten-free. Use Tamari for a gluten-free and vegan recipe.
If tomatoes are out of season you can bulk up the cucumber or use some thinly sliced carrot.
If you do not like spice you can leave out the chili, though you don’t know what you’re missing!