Simple Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga)

Simple Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga)

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Kerabu mangga or mango salad is a Malay appetizer widely available in Malaysia. Authentic kerabu mangga is similar to its Thai counterpart, Som Tam which is a little spicy and tangy. It is absolutely appetizing when paired with grilled meat, seafood or just plain white rice.

Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 15 mins

Appetizer, Side

Malay, Malaysian, Singaporean


Nutrition per Serving

306 kcal
64 g
4 g
11 g

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When it is time for a simple mango salad dish, it has to be ‘Kerabu Mangga’. Made with freshly sliced mangoes, chillies and shallots, the combination is whisked in a tangy lime dressing. Similar to Thai mango salad, this healthy dish is quick and easy to prepare. It is the answer to a fruity summer-style salad.

The Malay word ‘kerabu’ refers to thin slices of vegetables which are then season with spices. Meanwhile, mangga simply means mango. It is a typical kampung (village) salad which is really simple with lots of zest. Malaysians and Singaporeans enjoy kerabu mangga as a side dish at Malay food outlets.

Kerabu Mangga vs Som Tam vs Gỏi Xoài

Mango salad dishes are popular across Southeast Asia. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have their own authentic mango salads. While they may all look the same and use unripened mango, there are slight differences.

Type Kerabu Mangga Som Tam Gỏi Xoài
Country Malaysia Thailand Vietnam
Method Mixed in a bowl Pounded Mixed in a bowl
Fish sauce Sometimes Yes Yes
Dried shrimps Fried Fried Caramelized
Herbs variety (optional) Ginger torch flower, lemon grass, coconut butter Coriander Mint, Vietnamese coriander

Kerabu mangga is seasoned with dried shrimp or sometimes, fried anchovies. I highly recommend using ready-made flavoured sweet and spicy sesame anchovies. It really gives the dish a big boost in flavour.

Type of mangoes

It is also important to note that each version uses its local mangoes. For example, Malaysians love using Apple Mango (Mangga Epal) which is quite rounded for it is creamier and less tart.

Malaysian apple mango. Photo by Ummi Nina
Malaysian apple mango. Photo by Ummi Nina

The Thais use its local variation called Mangga Lemak whereby the mangoes are oblong.

Thai green mangoes
Thai green mangoes

You can actually use any green and firm mango that is available at your local supermarket.

Mango salad dressing

This mango salad dressing is made of only three ingredients - lime, dried prawns and Thai palm sugar. The dried prawns are salty delivering a pleasant savory taste. Belacan or shrimp paste is a good substitute too. For a vegan or vegetarian version, replace it with soy sauce.

Thai palm sugar is known as gula kabung in Malay. They are sold in plastic bags tied with a rubber band. Since this specific sugar is not easily available, you may substitute it with brown sugar, molasses or any type of sugar at a ratio of 1:1.

Meat in the salad

This mango salad does not consist of any meat other than dried prawns. If you like, you can add some shredded chicken or boiled shrimps to it.

Dry frying dried shrimps
Dry frying dried shrimps

What to use besides mango?

Cucumber, carrot, green apple, tomatoes or even pomelo can be tossed into the combination for a variety of flavours.

Serving kerabu mangga

An easy mango salad is refreshingly tasty as an appetizer. While it can be served chilled, I love eating it immediately with either plain or fried rice. It is a great accompanying dish for rice bowls. Otherwise, have it with curry or be more adventurous, try it with fried chicken fillets!


Ingredients

Servings:  
1⁄4 cup
shrimps (dried)
1
unripe mango
1
lime(s)
7
shallot(s)
6
bird-eye chillies
2
lemongrass stalk(s)
3 tbsp
Thai palm sugar
2 tbsp
peanuts
2 tbsp
fish sauce

Steps to Prepare

Simple Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga) Step 1

Step 1 of 3

    • 1⁄4 cup shrimps (dried)

Dry-fry the shrimps for 5 minutes over medium heat. Once cooled to room temperature, blend the dried shrimps. Set aside.

Simple Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga) Step 2

Step 2 of 3

Cut mango, shallots and chillies into thin slices. Take 6-8 cm of the lemongrass from the bottom and discard the top. Then, bash it with the back of the knife or pestle. Cut the lime into wedges.

Simple Mango Salad (Kerabu Mangga) Step 3

Step 3 of 3

    • 3 tbsp Thai palm sugar
    • 2 tbsp peanuts
    • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Add Thai palm sugar, shallots, chillies and lemongrass into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice followed by the sliced mango. Mix well. Lastly, stir in the blended dry shrimps. Garnish with some roasted peanuts.

Published: December 16, 2020


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