June 4, 2007

Mango & Tomato salad

Mango Salad

It's finally becoming a little cooler these days, I wasn't sure how much longer I could take the heat we've been experiencing. What I don't like about such extreme climes is it makes you lazy, or at least it makes me lazy. The heat zaps my energy and for as long as I'm within city limits, I'm imprisoned indoors in the comfort of airconditioning.

Sure we've got electric fans in every room including the kitchen but they're powerless at this point, successful only at recycling the hot air around. And so it was that I stayed away from the oven for the most part of the summer. I was asked a couple of times by friends to make cupcakes but seriously, I'd have to be a masochist to confine myself to the kitchen (which if it weren't for the appliances present I could have mistaken for the steam room at the gym) and work with the heat from the oven.

Salads, of course, are a favorite especially during summer. They're quick and easy to make, and very refreshing. The simpler ones don't require any heat in the preparation, and hence no sweat from our pores. This particular dish could be classified both as a salad or condiment because it's great on it's own or added to complement a major dish such as fish. It's also a great alternative to chutney in tempering hot curries. The original recipe calls for green or unripe mangoes but I like to save those to be eaten with bagoong (shrimp paste). And since we are never without ripe mangoes at home, I can make this everyday if I wish.

I got this recipe from my sister, Ginny. It's excellent! I am really a big fan of the distinctly Asian mix of fish sauce, vinegar and sugar. The way it works together in a sweet, salty and sour burst of flavor is simply ambrosial. Then you add the juicy sweetness of my favorite fruit, the mango and the crunch from the tomatoes, and you have one mind-blowing experience. Chalk another point for simple, no-fuss and absolutely delicious food.

Mango & Tomato Salad
2 ripe mangoes, cubed (you can also use green mangoes if you wish)
2 juicy red tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Start with 1 tbsp each of red cane vinegar, Thai fish sauce or patis and brown sugar
Coriander leaves, chopped
Adjust dressing to taste

The easiest way to cube a mango is to slice it in half on either side of the seed. Then with a knife, make a checkerboard pattern on the flesh of each cheek and then scoop the cubes out. You'll be tempted to scoop them straight into your mouth, be strong and try to resist! Combine the mango with the tomatoes and toss with vinegar, fish sauce and sugar.

If you use green mangoes, use less vinegar to compensate for the sourness of the fruit. For a variation on the dish, and one which would make it more Thai, add some chili powder to the mix!

Blush the tomato

Thank you to Alanna of A Veggie Venture for this cute image of Blush the Sweet Tomato, and for her efforts in promoting produce from hometown farmer's markets!


Lydia said...

I'd never tried fish sauce on fruit until I saw a recipe for a Thai melon salad in Julia Child's Cooking with Master Chefs book, many years ago. It was a revelation to have the salty flavor with fruit, and I've loved it ever since.

Ben said...

I'm not big on fish sauce but your photo is stunning and might just convert me. The mango looks so juicy!

christine said...

Hi Lydia! Yes, fish sauce on fruit is really a perfect combination. Try it on pomelo or grapefruit too and made into a salad. (I wrote about this a few posts back). But on mango, it's just divine! But then again, you can't go wrong with mangos. They're heaven in a fruit! :)

Hi Ben, thank you for that! :) Please do try it. As Lydia says, it might just be a revelation for you as well.

ScroochChronicles said...

Looks yummy. I have a feeling this would go well with "inihaw na isda". I will definitely try this. Thanks for the recipe. :)

joey said...

I feel your pain! (in the heat department) Even taking pictures of my food gets me sweating! :( You are so right about the salads... This looks like what Carlo would call "Pampagana espesyal!" :) I can just imagine it with some fried fish...mmm! (or inihaw like Scroochchronicles says...)

Btw, I nominated you for the Thinking Blogger Award :) Because you make me think! :)

Ginny said...

hey ya, joey's right. you must be nominated for that...you also make me think..haha. when reading your posts, i think or better yet i imagine myself transported to all your travel destinations and actually think/taste the flavor of the food your talking about.

that salad is so delicious really and so simple. i end up eating so much, it really is "pampagana" :-)

christine said...

Scrooch, it would go perfectly with the inihaw na isda! :)

Jo, totally pampagana! And you're too sweet! Thank you for the nomination, I'm so honored and congratulations on the award yourself. Very well deserved! :)

Ginny my sweet sis, so many times I've wished you were with me whenever I see or try something I think you'll like while I'm travelling. I really should just kidnap you from your family some time! :) Thanks for this recipe!

tutubi said...

sarap naman nyan
might as well learn how to cook many things na rin hehe

shalimar said...

great relish... though lately i get allergic reaction to fish sauce....

Alanna said...

Yay-rah! Blush is a world traveler!

And tomatoes paired with mango? I must try that! I've even got all but the vinegar, think, yes, it's easily substituted with another vinegar?

christine said...

Tutubi, it will be worth it if you do. And then this one doesn't involve any cooking, just throw everything together and then you have a super sarap condiment to accompany what you whip up. :)

Hi Shalimar! Maybe you can try substituting the fish sauce with a light soy sauce? That should work. :)

Hi Alanna, yes! Your little Blush has made it to Philippine shores. ;) What a wonderful idea you had there! You can substitute the red cane vinegar with any light vinegar or you can try it with some lime juice. Mangoes and tomatoes make a delicious combo that you must try!

Susan said...

I love the addition of coriander in the salad. Mangoes and tomatoes are staples in my house, and I eat them in salad all the time. I also love to add mint and basil for a change. Gorgeous photo too!

iska said...

Hi Christine! That looks absolutely yummy! I've had fish sauce on unripe mangoes (and almost ripe mangoes, too.) :-)

christine said...

Thank you Susan! :) I'm like you, LOVE to add fruit to my salads! Hmmm, mint and basil on this salad sounds like a plan. I think I'd love that. One of my favorite things now is something I learned from Joey which is crushed mint sugar on pineapples, yum!

Hi Iska! Such a good combination, no? Hmmm, you just reminded me I haven't had green mangoes in a while, too long now! :)

Ria Mojica said...

Hi Nena! Thanks for dropping ny my blog. Your blog is making me hungry so I think I'm heading off to the grocery for some mangoes, tomatoes and cilantro!