Old favourite from Malay kitchen never fails to wake up the palate


KERABU mangga is a simple Malay-style mango salad that is usually eaten as an appetiser.

It is quite similar to the Thai mango salad, Som Tam, which is a little tangier and spicier with a hint of fish sauce.

The Malaysian mango salad features dried shrimp and belacan instead, and may include a combination of several aromatic herbs such as torch ginger flower, shallots, coriander, spring onion, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

The result is a visually appetising crunchy salad of iridescent colours.

Although green mango is the preferred fruit, medium ripe mangoes may also be used for this dish.

Dressing for this salad is just a simple combination of salt, sugar and lime juice, although you may add fish sauce and juice of a kaffir lime or lemon, as well as its zest.

You may toast the peanuts ahead of time and use as needed, but I prefer the taste of freshly toasted nuts.

The trick to keeping this salad crisp is to toss everything together just before it is served.

This also keeps the freshly toasted peanuts crunchy, and you may scatter an additional handful of peanuts and fried anchovies for extra crunch.

Kerabu mangga can be paired with grilled meats and seafood, or even eaten with plain steamed rice.

It is a side dish that whets the appetite and enhances many dishes.

Kerabu mangga

Ingredients

3 green mangoes, peeled and julienned

5 pods red chilies, seeded and julienned

2 sprigs coriander, roughly chopped

2 buds torch ginger flower

2 bulbs shallots, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 pods bird’s eye chilies, sliced

Ingredients for pounding

50g dried shrimps, toasted

1cm ginger

50g belacan, toasted

75g raw peanuts, toasted and skinned

Seasoning1/2 tsp salt to taste

2 tsp sugar to taste

3 fresh limes

Method

Place all salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Pound toasted dried shrimp in a mortar into a fine paste, add ginger and belacan and continue pounding until mashed.

Add peanuts and lightly pound into a coarse meal, then sprinkle all over the salad greens.

Season with salt, sugar and lime to taste.

Toss and serve immediately, or if kept in a chiller, consume within a day.

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