Sweet golden mangoes matched perfectly with roasted coconut flakes, crunchy red cabbage, fresh mint and salty peanuts with a tangy lime and fish sauce dressing. A vibrant and healthy mango recipe that is punchy and with a whole lot of tropical vibes.
Why I Love Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut Flakes
Drawing on my Vietnamese heritage, I typically use green mangoes in my salads as I love the zesty flavours plus it takes on a smack of chilli like no other. Thai mango salads are definitely my fave.
However, when I saw the golden hues of yellow mangoes at my local green grocer, I knew I had to create something different.
With tropical flavours in mind, I wanted to create a delicious balance of sweet, sour, savoury and crunch in one mouthful.
The sweet golden mangoes are perfect with crunchy red cabbage, roasted coconut flakes and peanuts with a tangy, salty lime and fish sauce dressing. A delicious and healthy mango recipe and it was heavenly.
10 Ways To Use Mangoes
In Australia, mangoes are a clear sign that summer has arrived. When in season, mangoes are often sold in large trays at very affordable prices. We love mangoes in our family. However, even then we are not always sure we can eat a whole tray of 12 mangoes in one hit.
Therefore we need to be creative and use this delicious tropical fruit in various ways. Mangoes do freeze well so it can be stored for later use.
- For my kids, the simplest way is to devour the cut mango’s cheeks. Goes down a treat on a hot summer’s day. Of course adding a scoop of good vanilla ice-cream doesn’t hurt either.
- They also love a good mango smoothie with fresh pineapple and mango sorbet. The perfect afternoon pick-me-up. We always have a bag of frozen mango in the freezer so we can whip up smoothies anytime of the day.
- Adding our own little twist to the tropical fruit salad, try our Celeriac Mango and Guava Salad.
- Start the day with a healthy mango recipe with a mango and coconut chia pudding for brekky. Can be prepared overnight and ready to go in the morning.
- Mango also goes well with pork so try grilled pork chops with an easy mango salsa for a quick weeknight dinner.
- Try making your own mango chutney. Sweet, tangy condiment is a perfect match for curries, chicken, pork and fish.
- Similar to our Passionfruit and Kiwi Salad with Tangelo Granita, you could make a tray of sweet mango granita to cool down on a warm evening.
- Lightly grilled mangoes with barbequed fish adds a refreshing touch. Grilling mango adds depth to the recipe with the slight caramelization of the flesh. It’s easy and no fuss.
- Australian summers would not be complete without a tropical pavlova topped with lashings of fresh whipped cream, mango, passionfruit and kiwi fruit. If you don’t want to make your own meringue, store bought mini meringue nests are fantastic for an uncomplicated dessert.
- And finally, a great salad to try of course is this Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut Flakes.
What Mango Varieties to Use in Salads?
There are approximately 10 or so mango varieties grown in Australia but globally there are over 1000 varieties.
Most popular types of mangoes in Australia are the Kensington Pride, Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2 – all golden yellow mangoes with delicious sweet flesh when ripe.
We do also grow the green varieties Nam Doc Mai and Keo Savoy which are eaten crunchy with a sweet tang flavour. Nam Doc Mai will turn yellow when ripe whilst Keo Savoy stays green even when ripe.
Each type of mango has a unique flavour and texture which means some will be better suited in salads than others.
For classic Thai mango salads, the green types of mangoes are commonly used as they provide a delicious bite and the tangy flavour offsets the salty fish sauce dressings well.
If you love green mango in salads as well, try our Thai Green Mango Salad with Salty Tamarind Dressing.
For golden yellow types of mangoes, try not to select over ripe mangoes as they become too soft in salads. We prefer ripe but still slightly firm mango as with it will combine well with other ingredients and dressing.
How to choose a ripe mango? Give it a gentle squeeze. A ripe mango will give slightly. Don’t focus too much on the colours as the pink, red and orange hues do not indicate ripeness.
How to Make Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut Flakes
How to Prepare the Mangoes
There are many ways you can cut a mango but for me this is what I do to get the most of the flesh. You can use any variety of golden mangoes as long as it is ripe.
Use a sharp knife peel the mango. Then cut lengthwise from each side of the fruit (also known as the cheeks), as close to the seed as possible. On the smaller side, slice as close to seed and remove remaining flesh.
Slice the cheeks and remaining flesh into approx 1.5-2 cm cubes. Set aside for assembly.
How to Prepare the Rest of the Salad
Wash and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
I’ve chosen red cabbage in this salad purely for colour. I love the vibrancy of the red strands mixed with the bright golden mango bites, mint leaves and the white coconut flakes.
Place the quarter of small red cabbage cut-side down, using a sharp knife remove the small part of the core at the bottom of the cabbage. Thinly slice red cabbage into strands.
Wash mint leaves and shake dry. Set aside for assembly.
Heat fry pan over medium heat and toast peanuts, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt in dry pan for about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Keep moving the pan around to ensure peanuts are well toasted all round and to stop burning. Remove from pan to cool down.
The roasted coconut flakes I have used in this recipe are store bought.
How to Make Fish Sauce Lime Vinaigrette
For this mango salad dressing, in a small bowl dissolve brown sugar with hot water. Add fish sauce, lime juice and avocado oil and mix well.
I need to admit that I originally tried coconut oil in this mango salad dressing as I wanted to test the coconut oil flavour with the mango and roasted coconut flakes. I heated a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and then added to other ingredients in the dressing.
However, I completely forgot that coconut oil returns to solid form when it gets to room temperature! Ah ya. So I found lumps of coconut oil in the dressing, not the ideal situation. I swapped the coconut oil with avocado oil and the mild flavour works well too.
I later found out there is liquid coconut oil which could work in the dressing or mixing it with olive oil. Apparently that stops it from returning to solid form.
How to Assemble Tropical Mango Salad
In a large mixing bowl, place red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and mango, mix gently together. Add half the portion of roasted coconut flakes and peanuts to salad. Mix again.
Dress salad and mix well to make sure the ingredients are well coated. However, do be careful with the mangoes as you don’t want to squash them and make it mushy, especially if you have very ripe ones.
Tear mint leaves into mixing bowl.
On a large serving plate, tumble salad onto plate. Scatter remaining roasted coconut flakes and peanuts on top. Zest lime over salad and serve.
How good would this look at the centre of a family barbeque? Definitely will be getting a few wow moments.
Works so well with grilled meats and barbeque fish as it helps cut through the fats. I love how the sweet mango is offset with the zesty pungent lime fish sauce dressing.
With cherry tomatoes, roasted coconut flakes, mint leaves and peanuts, it adds layers of texture and crunch to give the salad great tropical vibes.
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Tropical Mango Salad with Coconut Flakes
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- Peel the mango and then cut lengthwise from each side of the fruit as close to the seed as possible. On the smaller side, slice as close to seed and remove remaining flesh. Slice the cheeks and remaining flesh into approx 1.5-2 cm cubes. Set aside for assembly.
- Wash and cut cherry tomatoes in half.
- Place a quarter of small red cabbage cut-side down, using a sharp knife remove the small part of the core at the bottom of the cabbage. Thinly slice red cabbage into strands.
- Wash mint leaves and shake dry. Set aside for assembly.
- Heat medium sized fry pan over medium heat and toast peanuts, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt in dry fry pan for about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Keep moving the pan around to ensure peanuts are well toasted all round and to stop burning. Remove from pan to cool down.
- For the mango salad dressing, in a small bowl dissolve brown sugar with hot water.
- Add fish sauce, lime juice and avocado oil and mix well.
- In a large mixing bowl, place red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and mango, mix gently together.
- Add half the portion of roasted coconut flakes and peanuts to salad. Mix again.
- Dress salad and mix well to make sure the ingredients are well coated. Be careful with the mangoes as you don’t want to squash them and make it mushy.Tear mint leaves into mixing bowl.Add lime zest.
- On a large serving plate, tumble salad onto plate. Scatter remaining roasted coconut flakes and peanuts on top to serve.
- Any variety of golden mangoes are suitable as long as they are just ripe. Don’t choose over ripe mangoes as they can get too soft in the salad.
- Roasted coconut flakes used in this recipe were store bought. If unable to find roasted ones, you can purchase coconut flakes and just dry fry them at home. Place your pan on a medium heat. Fry the coconut flakes for a couple of minutes or until golden brown.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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