I mentioned in my previous post that Maggie took a liking to the Vietnamese salads served at the Da Nang resort where we holidayed in February. Think lots of fresh herb leaves and the distinctive mix of sweet and sour.
A particular favourite was a dish of char-grilled prawns (shrimps), with a side-salad in which caramelised pieces of fresh mango were the feature ingredient. (The resort’s mango sorbet was also delicious; I had it three times and I don’t even like mangoes that much!)
So, we resolved to find a recipe for caramelised mango to use in our kitchen and then marry it with some prawns in a salad.
The recipe that appealed to us is here. (At the resort in Da Nang, the pieces of mango had been cooked on a grill. This involves sprinkling the individual pieces with sugar baefore putting them on the grill. You can find recipes for that method via Google as well.)
But first, we mango novices needed some tips on how to peel and cut a mango, which we found on youtube. (Of course we did! And Maggie has now mastered the art and is ready to go on tour.)
As for the caramelising, the only variations we made to the recipe were to use soft brown sugar and to reduce the ingredient volumes to suit just one mango, which produced enough for at least four serves of salad. And a tip: make sure that your pan/skillet is wide enough to leave space between the mango pieces; otherwise, they will stew!
In Australia, there is a plentiful supply of cooked local prawns and our local supermarket offers them at a very reasonable price. So, prawn salads in various styles have been a feature of our menu through the long summer months. (Even today, in mid-March, the temperature is going to reach 27 degrees Celsius here in Melbourne.)
For the salad with mango, we combined some soft lettuce leaves, pieces of ripe avocado, prawn segments and small pieces of the caramelised fruit. We then dressed it with some homemade vinaigrette, to which we added some fresh lime juice and some of the cooking juices from the pan of mango. It looks pretty, doesn’t it? And it was delicious!
We have also used the mango in a salad of poached chicken, prosciutto, avocado and green leaves; almost as delicious! And here is a plate of our prawn salad, with tomato replacing the caramelised mango