Green mango noodle salad

This was a perfect summer meal. It was a hot, dry day yesterday and I decided to make my favourite noodle salad. I already had clear vermicelli and minced pork at home so all I needed was some fresh herbs and vegetables. Whilst I was at the Asian grocery store, I saw some green mangoes and picked up one to throw into the mix. It was my best decision of the day!

Add plenty of fresh mint and basil

Plenty of fresh mint and basil

The unripe mango lends a refreshing sweet, yet tart crunch to the salad. It makes me want to only make it when I get my hands on green mangoes! Yesterday, I used cucumber in the salad but raw young zucchini is a great alternative which works particularly well if the salad sits for more than a couple of hours. Cucumber does have a bit of a tendency to wilt and soften over time.

If you omit the meat, the salad is great under a piece of grilled fish or a refreshing change alongside a barbeque. I’ve served it inside a lettuce wrap as a snack and sometimes mix through a handful of roasted peanuts or halved cherry tomatoes. In short, please make this salad! It has an interesting mix of textures and flavours and easy to adapt to whatever you have on hand.

Julienned green mango, cucumber and clear vermicelli

Julienned green mango, cucumber and clear vermicelli

Feeds: Four people for a light meal
Start cooking: 30 minutes before eating

Green mango noodle salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 x large green, unripe mango
  • 300 grams x minced pork
  • 3 x Lebanese cucumbers
  • 150 grams x glass vermicelli
  • 1 cup x mint leaves
  • 1 cup x Thai basil leaves
  • 2 x small red chillis
  • 1/2 teaspoon x pepper
  • 1 x garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup x fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup x lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons x water
  • 1-2 teaspoons x sugar

Method:

  1. Mix a tablespoon of fish sauce and half a teaspoon of pepper with the pork mince. Leave for at least 10 minutes to marinate.
  2. Peel the mango and cut the flesh off the stone. Thinly slice and then juliennne into thin strips and place into a large bowl.
  3. Cut the cucumbers in half and deseed. Julienne the cucumber and add to the bowl.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic clove finely.
  5. Slice the red chillis.
  6. Create dressing by mixing fish sauce, lemon juice, water, chopped garlic, chilli and one teaspoon of sugar. Taste and if you want it sweeter, add in a little more sugar. The sweetness rounds out the dressing so it isn’t too astringent. You’ll probably have some dressing left over.
  7. Using kitchen scissors, snip the glass vermicelli strands in half or thirds.
  8. Boil a pot of water and add in the noodles and turn off the heat. Leave for 2 minutes and then drain noodles under cool water.
  9. Add noodles to the mango and cucumber.
  10. Heat up a large frying pan over high heat with a tablespoon of oil. When smoking, add in pork and brown, breaking up the lumps as you go.
  11. Continue to cook the meat for 5 minutes or until evenly cooked. Add pork to the noodle salad.
  12. Stir through half of the dressing and taste test. If you need more, add dressing until salad is lightly coated.
  13. Toss through the fresh mint and Thai basil leaves (tear in half if the leaves are very large) and serve.
Just added the dressing and ready to serve

Just added the dressing and ready to serve

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