Thai mango salad noodles

So I realize that Thai mango salad noodles is quite a mouthful – but there really is no better way to describe this dish, except to say that it’s what happens when you’re craving the sweet & sour freshness of mango salad, but also carbs.

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

Mango salad was one of the first Thai dishes I ever tasted – along with spring rolls, hot & sour soup, and – of course – pad thai. For months my mom had been lunching with friends at the same little hole-in-the-wall in Toronto’s Greek Town (weird I know), and she finally convinced me to give it a try. At thirteen, I wasn’t quite as ‘adventurous’ with food as I am now – Italian and Chinese were about as far as I cared to venture from standard ‘North American cuisine’, whatever that is! But suffice it to say that I instantly fell in love with the dishes we ordered. Thus began a little ritual, and for almost ten years we managed to have lunch at that same little place at least once a month. We’ve even gotten their takeaway for at least one Christmas dinner. When I think of Thai food, I think of the food at that specific diner, and I have yet to find a place I enjoy quite as much.

(Also, fun aside: Thai food in the Netherlands is like a whole other cuisine than Thai food in Toronto. I’m not sure how that can be, but it is, and I have stayed loyal to the Toronto variety!)

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

This Thai mango salad recipe comes as close to the diner’s version as I have ever managed to get – and it’s so easy it sort of feels like cheating. It’s delicious on its own, but toss some soba noodles in there and you’ve got yourself a complete meal that’s both healthy and yet also super comforting. (If you do decide to skip the noodles, go easy on the dressing or you’ll have yourself a mango soup!)

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

thai mango salad noodles, vegetarian recipe

By the way: I’ve built the ‘salad’ component as a sort of copy-cat version of the one at the diner, but feel free to do the same and copy your own favourite! You could use cashews instead of peanuts, throw some bean sprouts or some thinly-sliced cucumber in there, and really just make it your own.

Thai mango salad noodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 portions

Thai mango salad noodles

A simple recipe for my take on a Thai mango salad, tossed with soba noodles for a more filling meal.


2 underripe mangos, in thin strips*
1 red bell pepper, in thin strips
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup (a big handful) shelled peanuts
350 g (4 portions) dry soba noodles
handful of fresh coriander/cilantro
red chilli pepper, optional
*in my opinion the slight sourness of underripe mango is perfect in mango salad, but obviously if you prefer sweet, juicy mangos, or if you know that you don't digest underripe fruit very well (apparently that's a thing but I've never experienced it), go for ripe ones!
For the dressing
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (75 ml) lime juice
4 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar


For the dressing
1. Dissolve the sugar in the soya sauce - either over a stove or in the microwave - and let cool slightly.
2. Whisk in the lime juice and set aside until ready to toss.
For the salad
1. While you bring your water to a boil for the noodles, toast the peanuts on the stove in a pan over a medium-high heat. Keep a close eye on them as they can quickly burn. Once toasted, transfer to a small bowl or plate and set aside.
2. Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions - usually about 5-6 minutes. Drain and rinse. (You don't necessarily need to rinse but I like to because otherwise they become a sticky tangled mess and are very difficult to work with! And I don't find that rinsing them affects their ability to absorb dressing.)
3. In a large bowl, toss your prepped mango, bell pepper, onion, and chilli pepper (if using) with the noodles.
4. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss well to coat.
5. Immediately before serving, throw in the peanuts and coriander. You can also sprinkle them over each individual portion if you prefer.


The dressing is adapted from this recipe (the vegetarian version). Because soya sauce lacks the funky flavour of fish sauce, I find that adding just a bit more lime juice than the original recipe calls for really brings the dish to life and gives it a bit of a punchy kick.

This dish is delicious to eat as soon as it's prepared, but is the sort of thing that will only get better as it sits and the flavours all have a chance to come together.


    • sophie says

      Thank you Jess! I love them too – I think for everyday purposes I would be torn between something like this and something with a peanut sauce 😛


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