Spicy Thai Green Mango Salad (Yum Ma Muang)

Take your taste buds on a trip to Thailand with a spicy green mango salad. The refreshing mango salad is sweet, spicy and umami-packed – everything we love about Thai cuisine.

If you love Thai food as much as I do, you need to try spicy green mango salad. This traditional Thai salad (yum ma muang or som tum mamuang) is made with unripe green mangoes and packs a flavourful punch from a mix of sweet, spicy, and umami ingredients.

It’s a perfect summer side dish or a light meal when topped with protein – try cooked shrimp, juicy prawns, or shredded chicken.

The Thai salad recipe is gluten-free and can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the dried shrimp and swapping fish sauce for tamari.

A serving bowl with spicy Thai green mango salad and bamboo serving spoons.

What is yum ma muang?

Yum ma muang (or som tum mamuang) is a refreshing and tangy salad made from unripe mangoes. It captures the essence of Thai cuisine with its contrasting sweet, sour, spicy, and umami flavours.

Thin strips of julienned green mango provide a tart and slightly crunchy base. Fresh ingredients, such as sliced shallots, fresh cilantro, scallions, and red chillies complete the salad.

But, it’s the umami dressing that adds that distinct Thai flavour profile. It balances the sweetness of palm sugar, with the tanginess of lime juice, and the intense savouriness of fish sauce.

Toppings like rehydrated dried shrimp, toasted coconut, or roasted peanuts complete the Thai salad.

Ingredients and substitutes

Ingredients for Thai green mango salad including a green unripe mango, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, shallots, cilantro, shallots and dried shrimp.

Mango salad base ingredients:

  • Green mango: Use a firm and slightly unripe green mango for the perfect tangy flavour and crunchy texture. The mango should be firm enough to peel with a speed peeler and slice with a mandolin. But, if you accidentally let the mango ripen too far, go ahead and still make the salad. The texture won’t be a s crunchy, but it will be sweet and utterly delicious.
  • Fresh herbs: Cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and Thai basil are commonly used in this salad. When I can’t find Thai basil, I add a few mint leaves instead. And if you’re not a cilantro fan, swap it for a handful of diced crispy lettuce leaves or simply omit it.

For the spicy salad dressing:

  • Fish sauce: It gives the salad a serious umami boost, but you can use soy sauce or tamari for a plant-based alternative.
  • Lime juice: You can use Thai limes or regular limes for a zesty, citrusy flavour.
  • Sugar: I use palm sugar, but you can also use brown sugar or maple syrup. Anything to add a touch of sweetness.
  • Chillies: It wouldn’t be a spicy mango salad without them! I use very hot Thai chillies (Thai bird’s eye), but you can use a less spicy chilli (like Serrano peppers) and serve more finely sliced chillies on the side. Or use dried chilli flakes if you don’t have fresh chillies on hand.
  • Shallots: The thinly sliced shallots mellow in the sweet and tangy salad dressing while you prep the salad. You can also use thinly sliced red onion, or swap it for two minced garlic cloves if you want a bolder dressing.

Salad toppings:

  • Dried shrimp: I love the little salty bites of shrimp. But you can omit it for a vegetarian version of the salad, or if you struggle to find it.
  • Roasted peanuts: The nutty flavour and crunchy texture of roasted peanuts round off this salad perfectly.

How to make green mango salad

Step 1: If using dried shrimp, soak them in warm water for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Step 2: To make the salad dressing, mix together the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Then add the chopped chillies and shallots.

Step 3: Peel green mango with a vegetable peeler. Julienne it into thin strips or thicker batons. A mandolin is great for super thin strips.

Step 4: Assemble the salad in a large bowl. Mix together the mango, fresh cilantro, Thai basil or mint leaves, and half of the chopped peanuts.

Step 5: Pour the dressing over the mango salad and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Step 6: To serve, transfer the green mango salad to a serving bowl. Top it with the remaining peanuts and rehydrated dried shrimp (if using). Serve immediately.

The salad is best served fresh, but you can keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

A serving bowl with spicy Thai green mango salad and bamboo serving spoons.

Serving suggestions

In Thailand, green mango salad is a popular street food dish, bought from food vendors on the side of the road. There I eat it for a sweet and savoury afternoon snack on its own.

At home, I often bulk it up for dinner with rice, noodles and protein.

With rice and protein: Add some cooked shrimp, juicy prawns, or shredded chicken (I use leftover rotisserie chicken) to the salad, then serve with a side of sticky rice.

Veggie-packed lunch: You can also bulk up the Thai mango salad recipe with shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, beansprouts, and even avocado. And add crispy tofu for a delicious veggie-packed lunch.

Mango noodle salad: Or, serve the salad with cold noodles. I love it with glass noodles (they don’t need cooking, only soaking) for a super easy summer dinner.

Thai mango salad served with glass noodles and more vegetables for an easy mango noodle salad.

Frequently asked questions

What is Thai salad dressing made of?

Thai salad dressing is similar to nam jim dipping sauce. It is typically made of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chilli peppers. Other common ingredients include garlic, shallots, green onions, and herbs like cilantro or mint. The dressing is often used in Thai salads like green mango salad to add a tangy, spicy, and umami flavour.

Is a green mango just an unripe mango?

The green mango used in Thai salads is an unripe mango. Green mangoes are firmer and have a tart, slightly sour taste, making them a popular ingredient in savoury dishes and salads. There is also a Thai mango (Mamuang Kiew Sa Wei) that is sweet even when the skin is still green. They are known as sweet green mangoes.

A serving bowl with spicy Thai green mango salad and bamboo serving spoons.

Spicy Thai Green Mango Salad (Yum Ma Muang Recipe)

5 from 2 votes
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Yum ma muang (or som tum mamuang) is a traditional Thai mango salad made from unripe mangoes. It is sweet, spicy, umami-packed, and super refreshing. Serve the easy Thai salad as a side dish, or add cooked shrimp, juicy prawns, or shredded chicken for a light summer salad for dinner.
Recipe byAdri
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 large green unripe mango* , peeled and cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves , roughly torn
  • 6 Thai basil leaves* , or mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts , roughly chopped

Spicy Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar , or brown sugar to taste
  • 1 to 2 Thai chillies* , finely chopped
  • 2 shallots , thinly sliced


  • Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • Next, prepare the dressing. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chillies and shallots and mix well.
  • To assemble the salad, put the raw mango in a large bowl with the fresh herbs and half the peanuts. Pour over the dressing, mix well, and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve immediately, topped with the remaining peanuts and rehydrated dried shrimp.


  • Green mangoes should be firm and still slightly unripe with a firm texture and tangy flavour. Admittedly, I often miss this window of perfect mango unripeness, then I just make the salad with slightly riper mangoes, reducing the sugar a bit. And, if you can’t find an unripe mango, you can use green papaya instead.
  • Thai basil can be tricky to find – even at the local Asian grocery store. On those days, I use fresh mint leaves instead.
  • Using 2 Thai bird’s eye chillies makes a very spicy mango salad – which is how I like it. But, if you’re worried about a salad that’s too spicy, start with only one Thai chilli, then add the second one after tasting. Or use a milder red chilli, like a red Serrano chilli.
  • See serving suggestions to bulk this basic Thai salad into a street food-style mango noodle salad.
I learned how to make Thai green mango salad from Saiphin Moore’s book Rosa’s Thai Cafe.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 195 kcal Carbohydrates: 29 g Protein: 16 g Fat: 4 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 169 mg Sodium: 1975 mg Potassium: 454 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 22 g Vitamin A: 1674 IU Vitamin C: 76 mg Calcium: 102 mg Iron: 2 mg


  1. 5 stars
    This has got to be by faaaaar the best mango salad I’ve ever had! The flavours come together perfectly. You’ll want to have several servings so consider making extra!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. Thank you so much, Dee. Your comment made my day! I also seriously love the flavour combination in the this salad, it’s like a bit of Thailand on a plate.

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