Ginger, lime and sweet chili make a quick and delicious dressing for this Thai prawn salad with mango. A punchy prawn salad, this ticks all the boxes for a satisfying main dish or a spectacular side. Creamy avocado, ripe mango and crunchy peanuts are the perfect partners for sweet shrimp and easy Thai salad dressing.
Why I Made This Recipe
I've been lucky enough to travel to Thailand a few times in my life and each time I am wowed by the fabulous flavours of their food. Loads of fresh seafood, herbs, spicy chilis, bright ginger and lemongrass, I love it all! (If you like this, also check out Spicy Mango Kani Salad.)
This was inspired by my herb loaded Thai Flank Steak Salad and Japanese Goma Dressing Recipe With Roasted Carrots And Asparagus. It pairs really well with Miso Glazed Salmon or Peanut Sauce Baked Chicken and some steamed jasmine rice.
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My quick and easy take on Thai prawn salad with mango is perfect in the heat of the summer when you want something punchy and refreshing. The garlic, ginger and lime dressing takes a few shortcuts using ingredients that are easier to find here but I think you'll find they serve this recipe well.
This uses only a few flavorful ingredients. Have a look, I bet you have a few in your fridge and pantry already.
- Prawns - The star ingredient, I've used West Coast spot prawns but you can use any shrimp you like. I also love Side Stripe shrimp which are fished locally in the Pacific ocean off BC. (You might remember I grew up fishing shrimp and prawns amongst other seafood so I have a preference for wild shrimp and prawns over the less flavorful farmed crustaceans.)
- Basil and Cilantro - Fresh herbs rock and while some recipes can substitute dried ones, this recipe can't. If you can't find both herbs, you can use just one of the two.
- Fish Sauce - The Asian equivalent of anchovies, this might scare some people. I know it's a pungent ingredient but used sparingly it adds a delicious salinity and depth of flavor. I highly recommend using it for the most authentic flavored results.
- Sweet Chili Sauce - This takes the place of sugar and chilis and is easy to find at almost any grocery store. Leftovers are delicious as dip for chicken fingers and spring and these Shrimp Salad Rolls.
See recipe card for quantities.
Thai prawn salad couldn't be easier, just mix the dressing, chop your veggies and you're done! Here are some photos to show how I zest and juice lime. If you're cooking and peeling your own shrimp, you'll see some how-to pictures in the FAQ section at the bottom.
1 . Zest lime with a microplane grater or the small side of a box grater. Be sure to grate the zest before you cut the lime in half to juice it. Then grate the ginger after peeling away the woody peel.
2. Cut lime in half and juice by squeezing the the rind of the lime with one hand and agitating a fork in the flesh to work the juice out. Or you can use a juicer if you have one.
3. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
4. Cut up your vegetables, mango and herbs and add then to a large bowl.
5. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss gently.
6. Add prawns and remaining dressing and toss once more to coat.
7. Heap salad into bowls topping with chopped peanuts and serve with lime wedges.
Hint: This salad will wilt if dressed to far ahead so try to toss it with dressing no more than 15 minutes before serving.
There are a few ingredient swaps you can make if needed.
- Sweet Chili Sauce- if you don't have sweet chili sauce, you can add 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (like sambel oelek), 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon water.
- Fish Sauce- I love fish sauce and I think you should use it.....but if you don't have any, use ½ teaspoon salt, or more, to taste instead.
- Herbs- Fresh herbs are essential but if you don't have basil or cilantro, mint, parsley, scallions or chives will step in nicely.
Want to change it up to make this vegetarian or a full meal? Here are a few variations to try.
- Vegetarian - Omit fish sauce from the dressing and sub ½ teaspoon of salt. Replace the shrimp with cubed firm tofu or add extra nuts instead.
- Thai Shrimp Noodle Bowl - Cook, rinse and cool rice noodles as per package instructions. Place 1 cup of rice noodles in the bottom of each bowl and top with prawn salad and dressing for a main course noodle bowl.
- Thai Fish Salad - No shrimp? No problem! Almost any cooked fish is excellent in this salad. My favorites include cooked, flaked snapper and halibut, salmon, scallops and chopped lobster. Sub an equivalent amount of seafood for the prawns.
This salad is best eaten fresh but leftovers can be stored in a sealed container the fridge for 2-3 days. The lettuce will wilt but the prawns stay firm and sweet and the flavor is still delicious.
Do not freeze this salad.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Starting at the top wide part of the prawn tail, peel the first section of shell off by pulling it around the prawn. Next, pinch the tail and pull it off the bottom of the prawn meat as in the photos below.
Prawns and shrimp, like most seafood, are best eaten fresh. Cooked prawns will last well for 2 days and be safe for 3 days if properly refrigerated.
Rice, rice noodles and pasta are classic side dishes for prawns and good choices with this Thai prawn salad. For an authentic Thai meal, you would serve all dishes family style. You could serve a curry, jasmine rice and this salad and let everyone serve themselves at the table. Serve extra chili sauce, fish sauce and lime at the table for seasoning.
Prawns and shrimp in general are a lovely sweet and tender protein that pair well with delicate vegetables, salad and light carbohydrates.
Thai prawn salad with mango is easy and delicious. The key is using tasty fresh shrimp and herbs. If you get the best of those 2 ingredients, your salad will be amazing.
Have a wonderfully delicious day, Friends 🙂
Cheers friends! Sabrina
Thai Prawn Salad With Mango
Thai Salad Dressing
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (or Galangal if you can find it), grated Galangal has a milder ginger flavour and is a traditional ingredient in Thai foods.
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon Lime Juice and 1 teaspoon zest from the lime
- 2 tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 teaspoon *Optional: Sriracha Sauce to taste If you want your salad spicy
- 1 lb Cooked Prawns
- 8 c Mixed Greens
- 1 c Cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ c Each, Basil and Cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 Avocado, thinly sliced or cubed
- 1 Mango, thinly sliced or cubed
- ½ c Peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Lime Wedges to serve
- Mix together all dressing ingredients.
- Toss vegetables, mango and herbs in a large bowl gently. Drizzle with half of the dressing and toss gently. Add prawns and remaining dressing and toss once more to coat.
- Heap salad into bowls topping with chopped peanuts and serve with lime wedges.