Cambodian recipes: Green Mango Salad

by Meagan

Preparing this fresh and flavoursome Cambodian recipe in your own home is easier than you might think. This salad is a taste and texture sensation you don't want to miss out on.

Green mango is much loved in Cambodia and, after living here for so many months, I can barely imagine life without it. Crisp with a slightly sour flavour it makes a great palate cleanser after a heavy meal. And wedges of green mango dipped in a chilli, sugar and salt mix have become my standard travel snack on those 7 hour long bus trips to Phnom Penh. But my absolute favourite way to eat green mango is in the classic Cambodian recipe Nhoam Svay Tray Chaa-er (green mango salad with smoked fish).

Fish is omnipresent in Khmer cuisine. In this dish, the smoky flavour and subtle crunch of Cambodian smoked fish perfectly complements the tart sourness of shredded green mango. Throw in some lime juice, peanuts, fresh herbs and chilli and you have a combination of flavours and textures that’s to die for.

Cambodian smoked fish is difficult to find in other countries. But it doesn’t mean we have to miss out on this amazing flavor combination. Here I’ll show you how to recreate this special dish using ingredients you’ll readily find in your Asian supermarket so we can all enjoy this quintessential Cambodian recipe.

Cambodian Green Mango Salad

Cambodian Green Mango Salad

Prep time 20 min  -  Total time 40 min
Ingredients for 2 servings
½ cup dried prawns (shrimp), presoaked (20 minutes)  • 3-4 spring onions  • 1 large green mango, peeled and shredded  • fresh basil, roughly chopped  • fresh sawtooth coriander, roughly chopped  • 2/3 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped  • 4 cloves of garlic  • 1-2 red chillies  • 2 limes, juiced  • 2 tbsp fish sauce  • 2 tsp palm sugar  • ¼ tsp salt



1. Gather your ingredients. If you have difficulty finding any ingredients consider these simple substitutions: coriander (cilantro) instead of sawtooth coriander; shallots in the dressing instead of spring onions; white sugar instead of palm sugar (use slightly less and add to taste).

2. Drain the prawns. Heat vegetable oil in a small pan. Fry the prawns quickly until they have a crispy texture and turn off the heat. Allow to cool. Roughly chop the prawns (or gently pound with a mortar and pestle).

3. Cut the white part of the spring onion and set aside for the dressing. Roughly chop the green part and place in a large bowl.

4. Add the mango, basil, coriander, roasted peanuts and prawns and mix together to combine.

5. Put peeled garlic cloves, red chlilies and spring onions into a mortar and pestle and pound until combined. Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and salt and mix well.

6. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

7. Serve with white rice and enjoy!

Recipe  0.0/5 Stars (0 Votes)

Tips for a perfect salad

  • Choose a mango that is light green and very hard. The flesh should be white or a very pale yellow. You should be able to find them in your Asian supermarket.
  • For best results the mango must be shredded into pieces of even thickness.  Use a handheld shredding tool or, for large quantities, invest in a good quality mandoline.
  • Taste the dressing and be prepared to add more sugar or chilli to balance the flavours to your taste. Expect the dressing to be a little on the salty side though – once combined with the salad if will perfectly balance out the sourness of the green mango.
  • A mortar and pestle brings out the flavours of the dressing ingredients and fuses them perfectly however if you don't have one you could simply chop all ingredients finely and combine.

Suggested variations

This is a salad - there is no magic to it. If you do not eat seafood or are averse to coriander simply omit or replace with an alternative ingredient. You could also vary the salad by:

  • Adding other shredded vegetables such as carrot or cabbage.
  • Lightly blanching and finely slicing some green beans (snake beans would be ideal) and adding these to the mix.
  • Experimenting with other Asian herbs such as mint.
  • Replacing the prawns with deep-fried smoked mackerel a la Rick Stein for a result even closer to the traditional Cambodian recipe for Nhoam Svay Tray Chaa-er.

Visit Cambodia!

Updated: 07/28/2012, Meagan
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MBC on 07/20/2016

Sounds yummy, thanks for the recipe.

blackspanielgallery on 07/20/2015

This looks like an interesting salad.

Rose on 08/14/2014

It's sounds unusual and refreshing!

cmoneyspinner on 02/25/2014

I like green mango! This is the first time I ever found a recipe using this!

mysteeqz5 on 07/20/2012

I love mango salad, yums

Meagan on 02/11/2012

Yes, it is pretty yum.... would love to hear back if anyone makes it! In fact I haven't had it since leaving Cambodia and am tempted to go find myself some green mango and make it again today. Thanks everyone for your comments.

Jimmie on 02/10/2012

Oh, yum! I would love this, for sure. Pinned it so that I can make it in the future.

mivvy on 07/20/2011

This is so tasty, I'll try it and will use chicken instead of prawn (because they don't agree with me)

kajohu on 07/05/2011

This green mango and prawn salad sounds heavenly. I can see how the recipe could be varied somewhat to take into account one's own tastes.

chefkeem on 07/05/2011

This looks like a fabulous salad. I'd have to leave out the cilantro, though. Can't seem to acquire a taste for it.

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