Top the cucumber and mango salad with chili lime dressing with toasted sesame seeds, serve with grilled meat and have a meal with Southeast Asian flavors.
What kind of Southeast Asian flavors? Thai? Vietnamese? Filipino? A little bit of each, I suppose, with some Chinese and Japanese elements thrown in. The base of the dressing is Vietnamese but I added a few other things so I can’t call it a Vietnamese dressing.
But the salad itself is… Well, it really started as Japanese kani salad but we were out of Japanese mayo. So, I mixed a dressing with what I had, added a few other touches and voila!
The preparation is pretty much the same as the procedure for making kani salad.
I slashed a mango diagonally so that the strips were roughly the same length. The slashes, about a quarter inch apart, went all the way but without cutting through the skin.
I scooped out the slices shallowly to keep the slices thin.
Aside from the dressing, the main difference between kani salad and this cucumber and mango salad lies in when to add the dressing. Because of the lime juice in the dressing of this cucumber and mango salad, it is advisable to drizzle it in and toss everything together immediately before serving. Do not allow the tossed salad to sit for too long because the cucumber expels water faster once it gets in contact with the acidic lime juice. The strands shrink and the salad turns watery when allowed to sit for more than five minutes. Another option is to serve the dressing on the side.
For the dressing
For the salad
- 1 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 sweet ripe mango
Make the dressing
- Start by mixing the dressing to give it time for the flavors to develop. Mix all the ingredients together but using only half of the toasted sesame seeds. Set aside.
Prepare the salad
- Thinly slice the cucumber and mango (peeling is optional) then cut into matchsticks.
- Cut open the mango, avoiding the stone at the middle. Make deep slashes about a quarter inch apart without piercing the skin. Using a spoon, scoop out shallowly to release the thin strips.
Toss the salad
- Place the cucumber, carrot and mango in a bowl. Using two forks (or the tips of your fingers), toss them lightly but thoroughly to distribute the colors evenly.
- Drizzle in two tablespoons of dressing and toss. Taste. Add more dressing, as needed.
- Sprinkle in the remaining toasted sesame seeds before serving the cucumber and mango salad with chili lime dressing.
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