Easy Mango Salad with Lime Dressing

Sweet and juicy mango salad tossed with lime juice, crispy nuts, crunchy fried onion, and a touch of spice. You can whip up a super-light, revitalizing brunch for the warm weather in no time. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Mango salad close up

Summer is officially here and that means al fresco barbecues, aperitifs and bright, fresh food to share. I love how summer brings a whole new world of flavors to the table. When gorgeous fruits are in season and even in the city, the sunshine reminds you of being on holiday someplace exotic.

I adore cooking Southeast Asian food when the weather’s warm, as so much of it is adapted to be refreshing and not too heavy. A light salad for lunch is sometimes all I need to get me through a hot day. And the combination of naturally sweet ingredients with Asian spices cannot be beaten.

No surprises that my go-to summer recipe book is The Malaysian Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking, a fantastic collection of the most irresistible tropical eats from Christina Arokiasamy. Making one of her Malay-inspired meals at home makes cooking a treat, not a chore!

If you’ve never tried cooking Malaysian food before, don’t be intimidated! These recipes can guide you step by step with easy-to-find ingredients, so you can master them in no time. It’s tailored to the American home cook and is so full of the passion that really characterizes Southeast Asian cuisine.

Mango salad close up

Cooking notes

1. How to shop for mangoes

As the main star of the dish, it’s important to pick sweet mangoes that are not overly ripe. When picking a mango, squeeze it gently. A ripe mango will give slightly but still be firm in general. More often than not, you will find that the mangoes at the grocery store are quite firm. In this case, you should leave the mangoes at room temperature for a couple of days to let them ripen. Once the mangoes are ripe, transfer them to the fridge for storage if you don’t plan to use them immediately. If the mangoes turn too soft, they will be too difficult to cut and you will end up with a mushy mess.

2. How to cut a mango

How to cut mango

There is a mainstream way to cut mangoes that involves slicing them with the skin on, making a crosswise cut, then scooping out the mango pieces. I found that method quite messy. And you will end up with thick pieces of mango clinging to the skin, which is quite a waste.

I found the best way to cut a mango for cooking is the old-fashioned peel-and-cut method. Note, this method works the best with ripe mangoes that are still quite firm. In this case, the mangoes will be sweet enough and hold their shape well in your salad.

To cut the mangoes:

  • Peel off the mango skin using a peeler.
  • Cut the mango into four pieces: The mango has a flat-ish oval pit in the center. You should cut along the sides of the pit and avoid the pit, starting with the two sides with more mango meat. Once done, you will end up with two mango halves and a middle section that includes the pit. Then cut the edges off the pit, so you end up with two thin strips.
  • Then you can dice the mango slices into bite-sized pieces.

Once done, don’t forget that you still have some delicious mango meat attached to the pit. I usually just snack on it. Talk about chef’s privilege!

3. Recipe adaptions

Traditional Malaysian recipes use fish sauce and a ton of sugar. I replaced the fish sauce with salt to make the dish vegan. And I cut the sugar to a third. I found the extra sugar unnecessary since the ripe mangoes are sweet enough by themselves. Also, the original recipe used Thai bird’s eye chili, which is extremely spicy. I decided to use a much milder chili pepper so it wouldn’t burn my mouth. Feel free to dial up the heat if you prefer a spicier dish.

Mango salad ingredients

4. Fried shallots

Fried shallots are crucial to the dish. These crispy crunchy bites add a great texture and a savory note to the dish and make it more interesting.

Even though you can make fried shallots at home, doing so requires a lot of oil and time. Plus it yields very few fried shallots at the end. If you’re interested in this approach, you can use my scallion oil recipe, by replacing the green onions with 5 shallots and reducing the oil by half.

I highly recommend purchasing the fried shallots from an Asian market. You can get a huge jar for as little as 5 bucks. It’s actually cheaper than making them at home. You can purchase fried shallots from Amazon. Alternatively, you can also use French fried onion. You can find them in regular grocery store.

I always keep a jar of fried shallots at home. I top them on congee, stir them into fried rice, and sprinkle them on noodles. They’re like shredded cheese – they make every dish better!

Afterthought

I have to say that this simple Mango Salad is hands-down one of my favorite summer dishes. Now’s the time to get ripe, perfectly sweet and juicy mangoes at the market. And with just a couple of extra ingredients, you can whip up a super-light, revitalizing brunch for the warm weather. Plus you can dial up or down the spice level according to your taste. Say hello, sunshine!

Mango salad

More delicious summer salad recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Mango Salad - Sweet and juicy mangoes tossed with lime juice, crispy nuts, crunchy fried onion, and a touch of spice. You can whip up a super-light, revitalizing brunch for the warm weather in no time. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Easy Mango Salad with Lime Dressing

Sweet and juicy mango salad tossed with lime juice, crispy nuts, crunchy fried onion, and a touch of spice. You can whip up a super-light, revitalizing brunch for the warm weather in no time. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: malaysian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper , sliced (*Footnote 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3 ripe mangoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (*Footnote 2)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shallots , fried (or French fried onion)
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashew

Instructions

  • Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, palm sugar, chili, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.
  • Combine the mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to mix well. If you plan to serve the dish later, you should transfer everything into a sealed container and store it in the fridge, up to 1 day.
  • Toss in the cashews and fried shallots. Mix well and serve as an appetizer.

Notes

  1. The original recipe calls for 1 finely chopped bird’s-eye chili, which yields a super spicy result. I changed it to a red Fresno chili pepper for a milder taste. You can use a different type of pepper depending on your taste.
  2. I used small yellow mangoes in the recipe. If you use the large red mangoes, reduce the quantity to 2 mangoes.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.6g | Protein: 3.9g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 36.1g | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Mango Salad - Sweet and juicy mangoes tossed with lime juice, crispy nuts, crunchy fried onion, and a touch of spice. You can whip up a super-light, revitalizing brunch for the warm weather in no time. {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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