In February (2023), I asked my mom to share with me how to make a Gỏi Xoài, a Vietnamese Mango Salad (often accompanied with shrimp and/or pork but can also be meatless).
I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables since getting pregnant (lol) so why not satisfy that with some Vietnamese flavours too?
Part of my 2023 New Year’s Resolutions was to cook / document at least one Vietnamese recipe per month, so I hope you enjoy this month’s pick!
Recipe: Vietnamese Gỏi Xoài
(Vietnamese Mango Salad with Shrimp and Pork)
I don’t recall eating much of this salad growing up (I have more vivid memories of other Vietnamese comfort foods that were more on regular rotation in our kitchen), but whenever I do eat this salad I am delighted by how refreshing and flavourful it is. The flavours are interesting because the green mango (semi unripe) can be either sweet or sour, sometimes tart, paired with other vegetables and proteins you add to the salad. There is a lot of textures happening in this dish (given the different fruit, veg, and meat that is going into it).
This salad can be made vegetarian, pescatarian (using just the shrimp as the main protein), or adding pork belly as well. It can also go atop a bed of noodles (vermicelli), or just as an addition to the rest of your Vietnamese dinner (ours would usually comprise rice, pork, a canh/soup, and then add this salad for instance). This mango salad can be a side dish or the star/main dish!
And it’s super healthy and good for you!
Below is my mom’s recipe for Vietnamese Mango Salad with Shrimp and Pork (Gỏi Xoài).
You can watch my Instagram Reel or YouTube Short to show some of the steps in action too!
Please note: when my mom teaches me her recipes, she does not really give me firm measurements. It’s that classic mom “eyeball it” style of cooking (that I also utilize now too lol). With any of these Vietnamese recipe posts, I try to make measurement / timing suggestions based on my cooking experience, but suggest you just eyeball it too, ha! lol
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- Green mango (1-2) – you want the skin to be a little yellow but mostly green. Asian grocers may also have indications for whether the green mango is sweeter or sour in flavour
- Fingermint rau ra (a Vietnamese coriander. Some people also add cilantro and basil)
- Shrimp (eyeball it – some people also use dried shrimp which is fine then you don’t need to cook it, but cooking shrimp I personally feel like tastes better lol)
- Pork belly (a slab)
- Prawn flavour chips and crackers (a package – these are gluten free! And certain packages don’t actually even include shrimp/prawn flavour lol)
- Lemon (1 is fine, though my photo shows more than 1 lol)
- Carrots (2-3, and if you want more colour, get different colour carrots! Some people also add cucumbers to this salad which makes sense and is a staple in most Vietnamese dishes)
- Red chili peppers
Note: we get most of our Asian ingredients from Lucky 97 in Edmonton’s Chinatown.
- Julienne / peel carrots.
- To the cut/peeled carrots, add half a spoon of sugar, cut one lemon in half, squeeze half lemon then let sit in fridge.
- Peel mango then let sit in fridge.
- Wash rau ra then chop into small pieces to add to salad later.
- Chop garlic, onion, ginger.
- Scrape the pork (to get rid of any pork hairs) then salt and massage the salt on the outside of pork. Run pork under warm water and rub. Dry then cut slices into pork for faster cooking later.
- Place pork in pot and cover the pork with water. Add ginger then bring water to a boil. Once boiling, set heat to medium and let simmer for around 30 minutes. The pork is done when you can pierce the skin easily (and the inside isn’t pink). The pork for this recipe shoud be a grey-ish colour. Once cooked, place pork into a bowl with ice water and let sit so pork doesn’t overcook.
- Put shrimp in pork water and boil until shrimp is orange / not translucent (cooked)—a few minutes. Take shrimp out of pot and put in strainer to shake out / drain water.
- Add oil in a pan and set heat to medium. Once hot, put half chopped onion and garlic in to cook. Stir and don’t let it get too dark. Once it starts getting golden coloured, scoop out onion and garlic and let sit to put in salad later.
- Fill half a pot with oil to deep fry prawn/cracker chips. Set heat to high for about 5 minutes, then once hot, lower heat and drop one prawn/cracker chip in to test. If the chip expands, flip it to cook the other side, then scoop out and place on strainer or paper towel/bowl to drain oil from the chip. Note, if the chip cooks too fast then lower the heat of the oil. Note – you can make extra just to have shrimp/prawn cracker chips to snack on later lol.
- Take peanuts and break to make smaller, then mix together to add as garnish to salad later. You can roast the peanuts too if you like but my mom doesn’t.
To make sauce for the salad
- Get spoon and scoop 4 spoons of sugar in a bowl.
- Scoop 4 spoons of fish sauce into the bowl.
- Mix fish sauce and sugar to dissolve.
- Juice lemon into the sugar / fish sauce bowl.
- Mix then taste if you need more sugar, fish sauce or lemon.
- Presentation-wise is up to you (my mom yelled at me for burying the mangos in my first presentation lol). But assemble all ingredients into salad bowl or serving plate.
- Chop shrimp and pork to add to salad as well.
- Chop chili peppers to add to salad too.
- Make sure everything you set aside in the first set of instructions have now been added to salad. Make sure the different vegetables are dry (not wet) before adding to salad.
- Put a bit of the cooked onion and garlic into salad at the end.
- Slowly drizzle sauce onto salad.
- You will likely make more salad than you would eat in one sitting, so I would just assemble for what you think you’ll eat, to add the garnishes and sauces for that specific portion, so that you can still have more salad as leftovers (and the sauces/garnishes don’t make the salad soggy for later meals).
And that’s how you make Vietnamese Mango Salad with Shrimp and Pork (Gỏi Xoài)!
Like most Vietnamese recipes, this is really simple and straight-forward to make, with not a whole lot of ingredients, though I would say you need to factor in prep time of cutting all the fruits and vegetables, and making sure you have the right kitchen tools, knives, peelers, gloves, etc. to ensure you’re cutting the vegetables safely.
I hope you enjoy!!
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