Thursday, August 07, 2008


Vietnamese Green Mango Salad

The Ombudsman is not just a mediating master...he is a regular Svengali when it comes to food (and pretty much everything now that I think of it). Just one off hand suggestion and next thing you know, I am growing corn. Because home grown corn is so fab. Or so we hear. (Report on that next week.)

One side-ways glance at a taco truck and everyone in the group is lining up with cash in hand. A whim involving Santa Rosa plums, a jar of pickled herring and a surf board and next thing you know…trip to Mexico. (There is a food correlation there. It’s just hard to extract.)

I tell you the boy is like an air borne pathogen. In a friendly way. (Is there such a thing? Maybe he is more like perfume? No. That’s too girly. I’ll stick with pathogen.)

He is forever getting people to try running a marathon (really) or eat at random Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall mini-mall lunch spots. Sampling fare such as this.

Then, of course, you/one/I become addicted to it/that/whatever-it-was he has introduced in to your life and you/one/I become that much more worldly and happy for it. And you/one/I start to wish I were better at navigating since I could never find that spot again without a chauffer.

So I am forced to make my own version at home and that is just fine by me.

And for you my peaches (and Santa Rosa plums) I share this version of the classic dish that is the best side-salad you can imagine.

Try it and taste the joy.

2 firm, green mangoes
2 vine-ripe tomatoes
1 cup blanched green beans, sliced on the bias
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 red Thai bird chile, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 kaffir lime leaf, minced very fine
Fish sauce, to taste (optional)
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup Asian basil (Thai Holy, Opal or Siam Queen)

(My ingredients were all local and organic. Even the mango. A good way to go, ya? But if that's not feasible where you are, try it anyway. It's a tasty dish)

Peel the mangoes with a vegetable peeler. Grate or julienne the mango and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, chile, lime juice, brown sugar, vinegar, kaffir and fish sauce.

Taste and adjust as needed. It should be a balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

Toss the dressing with the mango. Set aside.

Slice the tomatoes into long strips, removing the seeds. Add to the mango along with the green beans. Let rest for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, add fresh herbs.

Serves four.

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Bennigan’s, an Irish-themed bar and grill with about 200 sites across the country, filed for bankruptcy, a move that will put hundreds of employees out of work and leave many landlords with empty retail space during a painful time in the real estate market. Sister brand, Steak & Ale, will also close. - NY TIMES

If fresh kaffir lime leaves are not available, use the tender new leaves of lime, lemon or grapefruit.

Are you coming to the next Chicks with Knives Sustainable Supper Club dinner? If you are in LA, I hope you will!

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Hi Rachel!
This sounds quite fabulous and I love the touch of lime leaf, super cool.
Hope you are well!
These light, citrusy fruit salads are my favorites during the summer time.
I haven't looked for kaffir leaves here in San Diego, but I have friends in LA who spent an entire day trying to find them. (And they are AMAZING cooks, who know from ingredients!) I think it might have been the end of their season or something.

So where do you buy them? If now is the time, then I'm on it, Roz. I gotta have this salad!
Hi I have a question, and I cant find your email address :(
Oooh, this looks amazing. I abosolutely cannot get enough mangos.
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