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Verses from my Kitchen: Thai Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp

June 9, 2011

Thai Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp

I feel it when I first wake up. I don't need to hear the local weatherman announce it on the radio, and there's no need for the meteorologist on the television to throw magnetic images of the sun up on the weather board. It's immediately obvious when I leave my bedroom and feel the power of her rays rush through the window and press up against my skin. My eyes squint to foil her advances.

I step into the kitchen and watch the early morning haze jump off the ground outside. It`s going to be hot. No wait, it already is. Welcome to spring, disguised as summer. It's the new seasonal norm. And this is only the beginning.  

The air conditioner in our house fools me into believing that it's cooler outside than it actually is. It lends me a false sense of security and sets me up for failure. I walk out through the front door to face the world dressed in pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and I immediately roll up my sleeves before the light cotton fabric sticks to me like glue. It's early June and I'm ready for the hottest summer in a hundred years.

I sit in my car and roll down the windows, momentarily forgetful of how hot it is outside. I turn my A.C. to max and and pray that it works quicker than it ever has before. The entire time I`m melting at the thought of an entire day spent outdoors and dreaming of something light and refreshing when I get home. Sadly, I haven`t even left my driveway.

These are the days I was warned about. Growing up in a country with long and sometimes harsh winters, I should be happy when it`s hot outside and the heat alerts come fast and often. I should be, but I`m not. Every first step outside feels like a warm slap in the face. The hot air seems to grab on tight and cling. It's like suffocation by the hands of the weather gods.

I think back to some hot days when I was younger and trips to the local Thai restaurant up the street from where I lived. We`d walk in and be greeted by the chef/owner working away in the open kitchen up the stairs from the entrance. The topic of the heat wave would come up and she would immediately recommend her prawn & mango salad. With that first bite it felt like I was jumping off a cottage dock and straight into a lake full of water.

It was the combination of the juicy, sweet mangoes and cilantro citrus vinaigrette that first cooled me down. The flavours make an immediate impact and work to wash over you from the inside out. The best part of all, the salad was really good. Memorable enough to recreate it all these years later.

On days like we've been experiencing lately, I pull back into the driveway at the end of the day and sit inside my car with the cool air reminding me where my safe spot is. I stare at the door afraid of the steps that stand between me and my house. And I make my move.

I come through the front door of my home with the weather outside now behind me. I thought. My wife asks if I want to eat outside at the table in the yard. We're limited to a few really good months so it's hard to say no. At least I can make this mango & prawn salad  and remember the affect it had on me during those hot summer nights years ago. 

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating! 

Thai Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp

The Goods:
  • 12 large tiger prawns
  • 4 rosemary sprigs for skewers
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli,deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large orange pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • small handful of fresh cilantro
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Remove three-quarters of the rosemary leaves and slide 3 shrimp on each sprig.
  2. Add the next 9 ingredients to a bowl and mix. Reserve half for the dressing and use the rest for the shrimp on the bbq. Grill the shrimp over medium high heat for 3 minutes per side, or until browned with grill marks. Brush the sauce over top of each side.
  3. Take the slices of mango and pour over the reserved liquid. Add in the cucumber, orange pepper, shallots, green chilli and a handful of chopped cilantro, mix and season.
  4. Plate the mango salad and add in the grilled shrimp over top.
  5. Serves 2.


At June 9, 2011 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

You take the most gorgeous photos! I can't wait to try this. Looks fabulous! It is way too hot here too. Too soon for heat like this! Thanks for the recipe.

At June 9, 2011 at 11:45 PM , Blogger Satrupa said...

Loved ur write up .... it indeed is getting hotter ! But this mango salad with shrimp would surely help to cool down a bit. Awesome recipe and fantastic clicks. The second click being my most fav one :)


At June 10, 2011 at 1:00 AM , Blogger Victoria said...

This looks amazing, and grain/starch free too! Can't wait to try it!

At June 10, 2011 at 7:05 AM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

What stunning photos!

At June 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM , OpenID chefpandita.com said...

Love the colorful salad, Mike! The rosemary skewers are pure genius. I am making this as soon as my dad brings me more mangoes from his farm. Happy Friday!

At June 10, 2011 at 2:10 PM , Blogger Sabrina said...

This is such a fabulous dish! And your photos are gorgeous! that shrimp looks so perfectly marinated and grilled! and love the mango in this!

At June 10, 2011 at 3:55 PM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

You seem to have our weather and Los Angeles wants it back (send some salad while you're at it) GREG

At June 10, 2011 at 5:41 PM , Anonymous Diana said...

Love the colors in these photos! And the charring on the shrimp makes me want to fire up the grill right now.

At June 10, 2011 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous foodwanderings said...

Nice Mike. Gorgeous summer colors. I will sub the shrimp (due to diet restrictions_ with fish. Gorgeous char though:)

At June 10, 2011 at 7:46 PM , Blogger wenderly said...

What a colorful treat for the eyes as well as the palate!

At June 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM , Anonymous Susan said...

A thing of beauty ... such a nice post!

At June 11, 2011 at 9:53 AM , Blogger Jeannie said...

I salivate the moment I set eyes on those mango salad with the delicious looking shrimps arranged on top! So refreshing and colorful and attractive to the eyes!

At June 11, 2011 at 10:45 AM , Anonymous Rasa Malaysia said...

This is such a great salad and beautiful photographs. To make even more of a contrast between sweet and sour, you can also add fish sauce and red chilli. It sounds so hot where you are!

At June 11, 2011 at 12:40 PM , Blogger Rumana Rawat said...

Awesome i have no words to say...

At June 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Blogger cookies and cups said...

awesome flavor combo! I love your pictures too! Such a great site :)

At June 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM , Blogger Feast on the Cheap said...

my mom makes something very similar and i always love recreating it in my own home. fabulous pix

At June 11, 2011 at 9:52 PM , Blogger Peggy said...

This sounds like the perfect salad that would make you forget about the heat wave that we're all experiencing! The photos are just gorgeous =)

At June 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM , Anonymous Kate@Diethood said...

What a beautiful salad! And the photos are amazing, as always.

At June 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

Sometimes a simple, refreshing salad can make you forget about the brutal temperatures. What makes it even better though is when you can turn it into a filling meal. Delicious!

At June 13, 2011 at 11:48 AM , Anonymous ag said...

What a beautiful plate of food!!

At June 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM , Anonymous Shaina said...

I have been on a mango kick lately, but just eating them like candy. Obviously it's time I grew up and threw a few prawns on top. Gorgeous.

At June 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

simple, fresh, light and yet powerful flavors - and gorgeous to boot!!

At June 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM , Blogger Melissa Jones said...

Refreshing salads and cold drinks are the saviors of summer. Lovely piece with gorgeous photos...I feel cooler already!

At June 13, 2011 at 6:39 PM , Blogger Helene said...

This is an exquisite salad. Growing up we did not know that Thai food existed where I was living. Now I can't get enough of it.

At June 13, 2011 at 9:06 PM , Anonymous Wendy @ Celiacs in the House said...

If you choose the right soy sauce this can be gluten free. Your photos and your words capture this strange season and the cooling effects of this beautifully simple dish.

At June 14, 2011 at 10:40 PM , Anonymous Michael said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments!! I really appreciate all the feedback and taking the time to leave a comment.

At June 15, 2011 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous Jean @ Lemons and Anchovies said...

I'm so glad we have this kind of weather to enjoy...finally! This salad is light, refreshing but certainly not lacking in flavor. This is the perfect summer salad!

At June 16, 2011 at 12:34 AM , Blogger Cooking Rookie said...

Amazing colors, simply gorgeous! And the flavors in this salad are very vibrant too :-)


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