I have been wanting to try a Thai style green papaya salad for a while now but I have never been able to find truly green, unripened, papayas. I tried picking up the greenest one that I could find but it was still too ripe and soft. I had all but given up when I was walking through the market I saw some really green mangoes and I remembered that there was a very similar Thai style green mango salad. I figured that even though these mangoes were fully bright green that they would still be soft and too ripe as well, but I picked them up and gave them a squeeze, they were rock solid and clearly unripe! I picked some up immediately and quickly tried to find all of the other ingredients that I thought I would need for the green mango salad.
The key to this salad is that the papaya or in this case mango, is used for its crisp texture and tart flavour rather than the soft and sweet ripened version. I kept the salad pretty simple and to the julienned mango I added a julienned carrot because it had a similar shape and crunchy texture and it would add some colour. I also added some bean sprouts for another colour and for the crisp juiciness that they would add to the salad. Of course there had to be a hot chili in there along with lots of fresh herbs. For the dressing I used some classic Thai ingredients: fish sauce, lime juice and some palm sugar to balance it all out. When I think of Thai cuisine peanuts always seem to come up and I thought that they would add a nice complementing texture.
The Thai green mango salad turned out great! It was so fresh and it had such a wonderful combination of flavours and textures. I really liked how each bite was crunchy and juicy and tart and sweet and sour and how every once in a while you would bite into a really hot pepper which overall balanced out with everything else. Despite the fact that I normally enjoy fully ripe, soft and sweet mangoes I quite liked the way the tart and crunchy unripened mango worked in this salad. While I was eating the salad I was thinking that you could easily turn it into a light meal by adding some shrimp or crab.
Green Mango Salad
- 1 green mango (peeled and julienned)
- 1 small carrot (julienned)
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1 birds eye chili (chopped)
- 1 green onion (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon mint (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Thai basil (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
- 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts (chopped, or cashews, etc.)
- Mix the mango, carrot, bean sprouts, chili, green onion, cilantro, mint, basil in a large bowl.
- Mix fish sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl.
- Toss the salad with the dressing and serve garnished with the peanuts.
Great recipe! I like that you added carrots, I’m sure their sweetness complemented the tartness of the green mango. It is hard to find these unripened fruits but still have them be eadible!
My favourite Thai place (Satay on the Road) adds baby shrimp to their mango salad and, like you say, it’s a full meal. I love it!
Sippity Sup says
I live with in walking distance to Thai town. The BEST papaya salads! But they always look at me askance when I INSIST I want it Hot, Thai hot. It’s the only way to eat it, but boy does it make my eyebrows sweat! GREG
This looks so refreshing and light!
Kevin – This looks great!!! I’ve always wanted to try this kind of salad, but I never remember to look for green mangoes or papayas.
We love green mango salad. This looks like a good recipe.
mmm, sounds tasty and refreshing!
Sweet Bird says
I love this! Green papaya/mango salad is delicious.
A Southeast Asian classic! All that’s missing is the shrimp paste, heh heh 🙂
oh soft spot! I’m drooling over this recipe, will need to try it soon.
Nina Timm says
I keep this in mind for next summer!!! I love all the flavors and not o mention all the crispy textures!!
Wow that salad looks delish Kevin!
The photo is fantastic. Please can you come and photograph my food as my pictures are never very good sadly.
A great recipe!
Rosa's Yummy Yums says
What a delightful and refreshing salad!
My Taste Heaven says
We have something similar to your green mango salad in Malaysia which we call it Mango Kelabu.
This looks great! I’ve never thought of using green mango for this kind of salad, but I bet it’s good. I like green mangoes too. You can also make this kind of salad with seeded cucumber instead of the papaya. Here in Laos,that’s what people do when papayas aren’t in season. It’s funny that you have a hard time finding green papayas because here we have a hard time finding ripe ones! People eat them all up before they’re ripe!
The salad looks great. Love the colors!k
I love green papaya salad, though most of the time it’s so spicy I have to cry while eating it (but can’t stop! It’s so good!) and will definitely check this version out. No more tears…
Tangled Noodle says
I have the same problem finding unripe papaya and mangoes here in MN. Even the Asian markets don’t have them (or I don’t go often enough to know when they do). This salad looks fantastic and makes me even more determined to find these fruits in their green state!
This totally reminds me of a thai version coleslaw. I personally would like this version better it has such a variety of flavors.
You could also add to the salad rice vermicelli noodles like Filipino pancit bihon, and chicken or shrimp, and serve it as a cold or room temp. salad. Delicious!
nithya at hungrydesi says
sounds delicious…i love green mangos! sometimes we cut one up, shower it with red chili powder and a little salt and just have it as a snack. such a nice tang.
those colors really pop in the photo. I always love your creations!
I have been on a crazy mango kick lately(including a late-night walk to local market for ripe mango, which I ate in its entirety standing over my sink)So nice to see a savory mango recipe that isn’t salsa. Thanks for the inspiration!
That salad looks amazing, I like how you used the mangoes 🙂
Cookin' Canuck says
Great idea! I love green papaya salad, but have never thought to use green mangoes.
Kevin: I think you are working your way towards a mango cookbook…am I right?
Beautiful! I’l have to try this soon– mangos are exceedingly cheap right now.
I am not a fan of mango but my husband is, I really think he would like this very refreshing salad. Looks great Kevin!!
Hungry Gal says
This looks so delicious. Reminds me of the green papaya and green mango salads I ate backpacking through SE Asia
i love all your recipes! i’d love to see your take on mac and cheese!
this looks great. and you have a lovely blog. thanks for stopping at mine.
With the warm weather coming up this is the perfect recipe. I’ll keep this one of file. Thanks.
What a beautiful picture that is, Kevin! I’ll have to try that soon.
This looks perfect for the summer!
Light and refreshing!
Wow…lovely recipe. Looks very fresh and healthy!
Taste Buddies says
One of my favourites Kevin! Great recipe.
What a great salad. Love the textures and colors!
Wow, this looks terrific. I love all the Thai flavors. I usually ignore the green, unripe mangoes at the market. Now I’ll pay attention.
This looks great! So fresh and clean.
Yeah, salad season is upon us. Love the crisp ingredients here.
Green mango is really great. Never had it until a month or so ago, and it was surprisingly tasty.
I am salivating shamelessly. This looks amazing, Kevin. Give me this and a bowl of Jasmine rice and I’m all set. (I’m Thai; I eat my salad with rice.) 🙂
I am so far behind on blog reading – love this recipe and I love the new header!!
Kevin, Happy 2nd blog birthday. You have much to celebrate as your blog is outstanding and has been consistently of a very high quality. Looking forward to many more.
This looks like that perfect summer salad that Thai restaurants have DOWN! Delicious sounding!
This is a lovely salad. Yum!
What a lovely salad – it looks so refreshing! I’ve never had a thai salad, and now I think I need to!
Love this recipe, very summery and the colors are so tempting. Great pictures!
I’ve been looking high and low for some green mangoes too. Your salad looks so refreshing.
Coffee and Vanilla says
Nice recipe and love the new design 🙂
What an interesting recipe & fabulous colours!
I’ve never tried mango or papaya salad but yours definitley makes me want to try some next time I go to a thai place or even try making it myself!
I love the colors and flavors of this salad. Another wonderful photo!
I have to try making this. it looks so refreshing on a hot summer day!
I have never heard of using an unripened fruit like this – it sounds wonderful!
Fabulous looking salad. I’m glad you went with mangos as I don’t really care for papaya.
Hi Kevin. There are two terrific fruit shops on the west side of Spadina, just north of Dundas that, from time to time, carry superb Vietnamese green mangoes (very expensive however) as well as the occasional green papaya.
If not in stock at these shops, try a West Indian grocery shop for green papaya. 😉
58 comments and not a single one even TRIED the recipe??
i always enjoy green papaya salads! i bet the mango is just as good too
What a lovely Salad. Beautiful picture.
First time here. You have a lovely blog, Kevin. Awesome pictures too.
I wish that this site and all other similar food sites would prohibit comments from people who haven’t actually tried the recipe.