I was in beautiful Kingston, Ontario a few weeks ago, and had dinner at a Thai Cambodian restaurant where I was reminded of the simple, tangy joy of mango salad – fresh mango, sweet and sour dressing, zippy red onion, toasted cashews, cilantro, and red pepper. Mango salad is light, refreshing, naturally vegan and gluten-free, and so, so easy to make.
And it’s perfect for the summer. I know some recipes call for less-than-perfectly-ripe mango, but I say go ahead and use ’em ripe. I did, and it was fabulous. It just makes the whole thing fruitier.
I also thought it best to add some tempeh for additional protein, so that the mango salad could become a filling lunch or supper. I went with plain, sliced up tempeh, but you could marinate it, if you prefer.
Other than that, basically prepare your mango and veggies, toss with the cilantro and lime juice dressing, top with tempeh, and you’re off to the races. And let me add that this recipe is VERY forgiving. You can make enough for one (just use one mango) or expand it exponentially to feed as many as you want.
Experiment with the dressing to make it what you want. You can add more lime juice, more salt, less maple syrup, more sesame oil. Whatever tastes right to your palate.
Mango Salad with Cilantro, Cashews, and Tempeh
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free
- 2 or 3 ripe to almost-ripe mangoes
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- juice of one lime
- generous sprinkle of sea salt (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 or 3 servings of tempeh, sliced
- smoked paprika (optional), for finishing
- Lightly toast cashews and tempeh until your oven broiler (watching carefully, because the cashews will burn very quickly – usually around 4 minutes is good).
- Peel and thinly slice mango into a large bowl, and add sliced red pepper and chopped cilantro. Add red onion.
- Add sesame oil, maple syrup, salt, and lime juice, and toss well to mix.
- Scoop into bowls and top with cashews and tempeh. Sprinkle on some smoked paprika, if desired.
- Store any remaining salad in the fridge (it keeps well, thanks to the lime juice and salt).
(C) Backyard Owl