Thai Green Mango Salad (Yum Ma Muang)
Sweet and tart with umami lingering in the background, Thai green mango salad, or yun ma muang, relies heavily on the freshest ingredientsTart and sweet are tempered with salty and umami courtesy of a little fermented shrimp paste used sparingly. In fact, unless you have an ultra-sensitive nose, you probably won't know it's there. The first sensation you get is the creaminess and sweetness of the coconut cream. As your teeth start to grind the green mango and fresh shallots, the tartness mixes with the sweetness, and the sharpness of the shallots jolts the taste buds. Then, the the shrimps, peanuts, scallions, toasted coconut and fried shallots blend it, and it's like the flavors and textures are happily dancing in perfect harmomy in your mouth.Alex and I learned to make it at a cooking class in Chiang Mai.
For the dressing
- With a mortar and pestle (or a mini food processor), grind the chili and garlic with the shrimp paste.
- Scrape the ground ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the palm sugar, fish sauce and coconut cream until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the green mango, fresh shallots, scallions and cooked shrimps to distribute evenly.
- Stir the salad dressing before drizzling over the mango mixture. Toss well.
- Divide the salad among four bowls (or serve in a large salad bowl, if you prefer) and top with the fried shallots, peanuts and toasted coconut.
Dessicated coconut is sold toasted or untoasted. We prefer the toasted kind for making Thai green mango salad. The nutty aroma and flavor are wonderful.