ยำมะม่วงมะพร้าว (Yam Ma Muang Ma Prao)
Rated 4.5 Stars from 2752 reader reviews
First published on October 9, 2015
Recipe by W. Tipsuwan
This version of Thai green mango salad is made with unripened mango, dried shredded coconut that has been toasted to a flavorful golden brown, toasted peanuts, shallots, dried shrimp, and hot Thai chili. The dressing is made with rich coconut milk, coconut sugar, and shrimp paste, so it has all the distinct flavors of a mango salad from southern Thailand. Salads of this type are usually referred to as "Yum", so we call this salad Yum Ma Muang Ma Prao.
You can use a few different types of mango to make salads of this type. Here I'm using some that have a light and crisp flavor, slightly sour, and similar to a green apple. There are other varieties that are very sour, and some people prefer to use those.
Sometime before you start to make the salad, you'll need to toast the dried and shredded coconut. Be sure you get the type that is not sweetened. Just put it in a clean dry wok over medium heat, and keep stirring until it is evenly golden brown and aromatic.
Stir the shrimp paste and sugar into the coconut milk and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. It takes a while for the sugar to melt and the shrimp paste to soften enough to blend easily.
Peel the dark green skin from the mango and discard it.
Use a vegetable shredder to make long, thin, or julienne style strips. Keep working at it until you get down to just a flat seed. The fruit gets rough and kind of woody near the seed, so stop before then if you have enough.
You want about 2 cups of cut mango, so you might need to use the second mango to get enough.
Peel and slice the shallots very thin. You need about 1/2 cup of slices. Save a few nice clean slices to use as a garnish.
If not already done, toast the shelled, raw peanuts in a flat frying pan for a couple of minutes, or until you have nicely browned spots all around.
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the red chili, just until they are broken up. The more chili you use, the spicier the salad will be, but the same is true when you grind or chop the chilies very fine.
I like it spicy, and I like to see the big chunks of chili in the salad so I leave these in big pieces.
By now the shrimp paste will be soft so you can easily blend it. Add the chilies to the coconut milk, shrimp paste, and sugar that you put together earlier, and whisk it until very smooth and creamy, with just chunks of chili. Let it stand again so it has time to get nice and spicy with the addition of the red chili.
Put the dried shrimp in the mortar and grind then roughly until they are loose and flaky on the edges. Dried shrimp are very hard, so this grinding just breaks them a little so they can absorb some of the dressing.
Grind the toasted peanuts until they are chunky.
Now mix the toasted coconut into the shredded mango until they are well blended. For best results just use you hand so you can get the coconut mixed in everywhere.
Add the shallots, peanuts, and dried shrimp, and toss everything together well.
Pour the dressing on and mix until well blended.
Serve on one plate to be shared at the table, Thailand-style, or use smaller plates for each serving. Arrange the ingredients and spread everything out evenly.
Garnish with a few slices of fresh shallots, some cilantro tops, and a couple of whole red chilies.