Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Some days I will spend the better part of an hour looking through cookbooks and dying for inspiration to strike. I mean, I love me some food porn, but there is something about reading recipe after recipe that sucks all of the fun out of cooking. On good days, things come together a lot more spontaneously. Last weekend I noticed that Trader Joe's is now selling green mango, a treat I normally have to trek all the way to the East Bay to source. My mom had literally just given me a little Korean gadget that I was dying to try out. And to top things off, there was a Vietnamese pork loaf languishing in my fridge. Some people impulse buy magazines and candy. I splurge on mystery meats at the Chinese market.
Green mango salad was the obvious conclusion, and True Thai is my go-to source for that kind of thing. It did not disappoint. I added some romaine lettuce to bulk the salad out, swapped out the green onions for cilantro, and reduced the amount of sugar in the dressing. In the future, I'd probably use a poached chicken breast, grilled shrimp, or smoked tofu in place of the pork loaf, because I only have pork loaf around once in a blue moon, and I intend to eat this salad a lot more often than that.
Green Mango Salad
(adapted from True Thai by Victor Sodsook)
1 green mango (this is much firmer and more tart than a regular mango, and available at Asian supermarkets or possibly your branch of Trader Joe's)
1 large handful of cilantro, washed and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
Vietnamese pork loaf (optional), in bite-sized chunks
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 red chilis, sliced thinly
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 thinly sliced shallot
1. Peel the mango, either with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Then run it over a julienne mandoline (available at some Asian supermarkets; I also found this one on Amazon). This gadget, by the way, is my new favorite thing. So much easier than busting out the food processor.
2. Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together (my preferred method is to shake them up in a small jar or Snapware).
4. Dress the salad and dig in.