This Filipino Mango Salad (Ensaladang Mangga) combines sweet, sour, and salty fresh flavors from mangoes, tomatoes, onions, lime juice and bagoong (fermented condiment). It also pairs well with grilled meats and seafood so it’s a great summer side dish!
Have you tasted Philippine mangoes yet? Our local mangoes are considered one of the best, if not the best, in the whole world. Seriously. If you go to any regular grocery stores that may carry dried mangoes, more often than not, that would be dried mangoes made from the Phillippines and not anywhere else. While dried mangoes do not compare to the sweet and juicy, freshly harvested mangoes from Filipino farms, they at could at least give you a taste of how yummy these Philippine mangoes are especially if you cannot get the real thing! They are great for snacking, too!
It is not a surprise that the mango is the Philippines’ national fruit. Pretty much everyone in the Philippines grew up with a mango tree either in their backyard or in their neighbors.’ In both places I lived in while growing up on the island of Marinduque, we had at least one mango tree in our backyard which provided abundant and lush mango fruits during summer! I remember harvesting these mangoes myself, thankfully not by having to climb up a huge tree but with the use of a long bamboo pole with a scythe at the end and a basket attached to it to catch the fruits being cut off from the tree. We would harvest a few pieces of mangoes to have as our afternoon snack! I have so many fond memories like this as part of my childhood. Island living was truly the best!
While we love eating ripe mangoes because they are super sweet and juicy, Filipinos (especially Filipino pregnant women!) also equally crave the green, tart, unripe crunchy mangoes. Go to any street corner in Metro Manila or anywhere in the Philippines and you’d find street vendors peddling sliced green mangoes with some bagoong condiment on the side. It’s the salty-tart flavors that people go for when they eat Mangga at Bagoong! It’s really so good and I am missing this favorite snack in the Philippines as I write!
It may seem an odd combination at first glance – slices of fruity green or ripe mangoes eaten with or dipped in bagoong condiment (fermented anchovy or shrimp paste). I know you may find this strange. But once you’ve tasted this – it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth – sweet-tart from the mangoes contrast so perfectly with the salty fermented shrimp paste!!! It’s crazy good! This street food is probably the inspiration for the mango salad locally known as ensaladang mangga, a very popular side dish in the Philippines especially during the summer and grilling months when mangoes are plentiful and in season!
So what do you need to make this very tasty Mango salad? Not much at all and these ingredients are all so easy to find. You can get get the sauteed shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) in any Asian store that carries Filipino products (this is preferred for the authenticity of flavors!) or even use the Thai or other Southeast Asian version of shrimp paste. Yes, shrimp paste is a hugely popular condiment in Southeast Asia! But, if you’re not up to it you may opt to not use the shrimp paste. Or simply serve it on the side instead of mixing it in the salad.
Let’s get down to the list. Here’s what you need.
Mangoes (use either green or semi-ripe mangoes or a combo of green and ripe mangoes – the latter I prefer).
Fresh plum tomatoes (seeded).
Red Onion (or yellow or white, your choice)
Bagoong Alamang (Shrimp Paste, optional or serve on the side)
Lime (or calamansi, for juicing)
Green Onions (optional)
That’s it! In fact, only the 5 top ingredients are required though I like to add some cilantro (wansoy) and green onions (scallions) for garnish.
Then all you need to do is mix them all up in a bowl and serve immediately or chill, if not using it right away. We serve it with any viand and with rice in the Philippines but it’s a great side dish for grilled meat and seafood. So for your summer grilling, add some freshness to your menu with this very easy and tasty side dish!
This Filipino Mango Salad (Ensaladang Mangga) combines sweet, sour, and salty fresh flavors from mangoes, tomatoes, onions, lime juice and bagoong (fermented condiment). It also pairs well with grilled meats and seafood so it's a great summer side dish!
- 2 mangoes, 1 semi-ripe or green and one ripe or sweet, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon bagoong alamang (sauteed shrimp paste), or to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
- 2 scallions or green onions, sliced thinly for garnish (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
In a medium-size bowl (big enough to accomodate all ingredients) that would also serve as a serving bowl, mix the mangoes, red onion, tomatoes, and bagoong alamang (if using). Pour in the lime juice and give it a stir to make sure everything is coated with the juice. This may be served immediately with the additional garnishes sprinkled on top if desired or, simply leave it in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to infuse. Give everything a quick stir before serving. You may serve this as a side dish with some grilled meat or seafood.
If you do not like to use shrimp paste, simply omit or serve it on the side with the salad and let those who wish to try it add it to their plate. You may add a little bit of soy sauce or fish sauce to the salad to replace the shrimp paste so you still get the salty flavor profile.