Thai curry is one of my favorite dishes to eat and make, but with all of the coconut milk that goes into it, I just can’t get myself to eat as much of it anymore when I make it. Coconut milk, while very tasty, is FULL of fats. Once in awhile it is okay to indulge, but I still like to balance out my meal with healthy, colorful veggies nowadays and eat a smaller portion of the Thai curry and rice if I can help it. I like to extend the same opportunity to guests when I make dinner for them too.
A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for dinner and a carrom game night. I decided to make Thai curry because we are all vegetarians, and I know how hard it can be to get vegetarian Thai curry at a restaurant. For vegetarians and vegans, these dishes are best made at home so you know the exact ingredients.
To balance out the meal– because you all know I can’t serve something rich without also serving something light and healthy– I paired the curry with a Thai mango salad. My original intent was to make a papaya salad, since that’s popular in Thai cuisine, but when I went to the store I found no papayas. Therefore, I improvised and thought of other tropical fruits that I could use in place of papaya, and figured mango had a similar texture, especially if I chose less ripe green mango.
Full disclosure: I didn’t.
I love ripe yellow-orange mangoes and can’t get enough, so even though this dish may have been more authentic if I had used a less ripe, greener, mango, I went with the sweeter kind. However, keep in mind, that mangoes, too, should be eaten in smaller servings as they are loaded with (natural) sugars.
I also love the ginger dressing served at Thai restaurants with some of the salads, so I decided to make my own version of it at home.
Top this all off with some crushed peanuts for texture and you’re good to go. I had some lightly roasted and salted peanuts on hand, so this was great to counter all of the sweetness from the mango, bell peppers and carrot in the salad.
Thai Mango Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing
- 5 oz greens of your choice – I used a power green blend
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 mango
- 1/2 carrot
- 1 green chili
- 1 green onion
- 1 sprig of fresh cilantro
- 1 cup ground peanuts (into a coarse powder)
- 1/2 shallot
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp oil (sesame or peanut are great for this)
- 1 lime
- 1 inch of ginger root
- 2 tsp sugar
- Place a bed of greens into a salad dish.
- Slice bell peppers and mango into thin and lengthwise pieces. Arrange in batches horizontally over the greens.
- Grate carrot and scatter in bunches across/between bell pepper and mango slices.
- Chop green chili, green onion and cilantro finely and scatter evenly over the salad.
- Use 1/2 cup of the ground peanuts to top off the salad.
Ginger Lime Dressing
Combine the following in a blender. Blend all together until turned into a smooth, creamy consistency and then serve on the side of the mango salad.
- zest of one lime
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 inch grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 finely chopped shallot
- remaining 1/2 cup of ground peanuts