Vietnamese Mango Salad, also known as Goi Xoai, topped with plump shrimp, fragrant basil and crunchy salted peanuts is bliss at a summer barbecue!
Looking to learn how to make a healthy Vietnamese Mango Salad? This cold salad takes under 30 minutes to prepare and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for spicy shrimp lovers.
Our quick and easy recipe features thinly sliced vegetables, fresh herbs, sweet & spicy vinaigrette, shrimp and roasted peanuts.
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Travel to Vietnam by Cooking Vietnamese Mango Salad at Home
I spent over a month traveling by bus through Vietnam. I started in the south, spending a few days in Saigon before exploring the floating markets in the nearby Mekong Delta. I then took a series of night buses north making stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
What I found most fascinating is Vietnam’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each town in Vietnam had its own local speciality.
Where To Eat Vietnamese Mango Salad
Haven’t traveled to Vietnam before? It may be helpful to first sample Vietnamese Mango Salad at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can also assess the variety of ingredients used and sample the correct texture before trying to make them at home from scratch.
What Is Goi Xoai?
Vietnamese mango salad, also known as Goi Xoai, is a vibrant dish featuring juicy mangoes, plump shrimp, and is often infused with fresh herbs like mint, basil and cilantro. The cold Vietnamese salad offers a mouth-watering combination of sweet, sour and salty, and features contrasting textures.
Many traditional Goi Xoai recipes call for unripened green mango, which offers a crunch and sour taste to the popular Vietnamese salad. Because we’ve included cucumber, daikon and red onion in this recipe we’ve opted to use a fully ripened, sweet and succulent mango. We suggest making this recipe with ripe and unripened green mangos to see what texture and taste you prefer.
What Is The Best Way to Peel a Mango?
Mangoes are often sighted as one of the most challenging fruits to peel. The reason being that mango skin is very thin and delicate and adheres to the fibrous fruit inside. There are many techniques to peel a mango but our favourite is using a wine glass (or any glass with a thin rim) to scoop the fruit away from the skin in a matter of seconds.
The short video tutorial above shows you how easily it is to peel a mango with a wine glass. Simply cut the mango on both sides of the central pit. Take one of the mango halves and gently press the tip of a wine glass rim into the fruit towards the skin. Gently move the glass upwards, scraping the fruit away from the skin. The fruit of the mango will plop into the inside of the glass and the skin can be easily discarded without making a mess of your kitchen!
Vietnamese Mango Salad Tips
If it’s your first time making Vietnamese Mango Salad we suggest you first start by reading the ingredients list and recipe directions below. This simple cold salad from Vietnam is quick and easy to make but in order to perfect the method you need to pay attention to the size and thickness of vegetables you’re slicing.
The best Vietnamese Mango Salad features finely sliced vegetables cut into thin julienned strips. If you cut large chunks of carrot, daikon, cucumber or onion you lose the desired mouthfeel. After tossing the vegetables in vinaigrette the salad should appear like a slaw.
We suggest using a sharp French Knife to thinly slice the carrots, daikon, cucumber and mango. You could also use a specialized mandolin or even have fun with a spiralizer.
We use brown sugar in this recipe as its most readily available in North American supermarkets. Palm sugar is what’s commonly used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking so if you can find it at a local Asian market buy it. You’ll enjoy a subtle difference in flavour profile. The sweet brown sugar, salty fish sauce and spicy Thai red chili’s create a delicious explosion in the mouth after each fork full.
We’ve sautéed the shrimp in vegetable oil but you could also poach them in salt water or even use dehydrated shrimp, which is common in Vietnam. If you’re serving this dish as a celebration, such as a birthday, you may even want to top the salad with crunchy homemade coconut shrimp.
What To Serve with Mango Salad
This popular cold salad topped with shrimp and peanuts can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish. It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days so store it in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers as a quick and easy lunch at work.
If you’re hosting a large dinner party, pair the cold shrimp salad with a hot pho soup, stir fried noodles, curry or egg rolls.
If you have vegans or vegetarians joining you for dinner this dish would not be suitable unless you make substitutions. Ask your vegetarian friends if they’re pescatarian and can eat fish sauce or seafood like shrimp. If you’re aware in advance, you can make homemade vegetarian fish sauce and have guests top their salad with shrimp so it’s seafood and meat free. You don’t want to exclude fish sauce from the recipe as it is a distinguishing flavour component. The vegetarian alternative provides the salty and umami forward flavours thanks to miso and mushrooms.
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Best Goi Xoai Vietnamese Mango Salad
Vietnamese Mango Salad
- Mixing bowls
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3 Mangos julienned
- 1 Carrot julienned
- 1 cup Daikon Radish julienned
- 1 Cucumber seeded and julienned
- 0.5 lb Cooked Shrimp
- 1 Red Onion sliced
- 1/4 cup Roasted peanuts
- 2 Red Chili julienned
- 1 tbsp Mint chopped
- 2 tbsp Fish sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Limes
- 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup White sugar
- 1/2 cup Basil chopped
- Make a pickling solution. Whisk together 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl.
- Toss the mangoes, carrots, daikon, and cucumber in the pickling solution and chill for an hour.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette. Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, 2 tbsp sugar, chili, mint and red onions in a bowl.
- Drain the chopped vegetables from the pickling liquid and toss into the vinaigrette.
- Top with shrimp, chopped peanuts and basil.
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