Double Mango and Thai Basil Salad with Red Chile and Star Anise
As Florida chef and cookbook author Allen Susser notes in The Great Mango Book, “In the world of mangos, there are two main kinds: green and ripe. Both are delicious, but they have very different uses. Green mangos refer to young fruit, usually pale green, without a hint of color; crisp, with a sour taste, although sometimes sweet and sour ripe mangos are harvested when their skin grows yellow to orange and blushed.” We like to use both in this recipe because of the textural contrasts the apple firmness of the green mango versus the banana softness of the ripe one. You can find green mangos in Indian and Asian markets, as they are integral components in the cuisines of southeastern Asia.
If you don’t have the time to dehydrate the spiced Brazil nuts that go with this, just dehydrate them as long as you can the salad is still better with them, even if not fully dry and crunchy, than without. If you can’t find Thai basil, any other variety will work fine, or try mint and/or cilantro.
Cooking Methoddehydrating, preserving
Total Timea day or more
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish
Dietary Considerationappetizer, side dish
Taste and Textureherby, savory, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishsalad
- 1 cup Brazil nuts, soaked for 1 hour, thinly slices
- 1/3 cup agave nectar or raw honey
- 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
- Coarse sea salt
- 4 green mangos, peeled and thinly julienned
- 2 medium ripe mangos, peeled
- 1 small red chile
- 3 to 4 tablespoons coconut water or lime juice
- Freshly ground star anise
- 1 small handful Thai basil leaves, thinly julienned
In a small bowl, mix the sliced Brazil nuts with the agave nectar, chili powder, and a generous pinch of salt, tossing to coat the nuts. Spread the nuts on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115°F for 24 to 48 hours. The longer they dehydrate, the crunchier they will be.
Place the green mangoes in a medium bowl and sprinkle with about 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Toss well and let stand for 30 minutes or more. The salt will soften the mangos.
In a blender, blend the flesh of one of the ripe mangoes with the red chile and enough coconut water to thin it to a smooth sauce consistency. Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of star anise. Transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle or separate container and set aside.
Cut the flesh of the second ripe mango into thin strips and add to the bowl of green mango, along with the basil, tossing to combine.
Paint each of the serving plates with the mango sauce, arrange a pile of the mango salad on each, sprinkle with the Brazil nuts, and garnish the plate with additional ground star anise.
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