In Asia, mangoes, like papayas and jackfruit, are treated as vegetables when they are green or unripe. Here green mango, tart and crisp, is dressed with a little oil and with sweet and pungent flavors—shallots, both raw and fried, and dried shrimp powder—as well as a little chile.
The trick is to find a completely unripe mango or a sour mango; both are sold as “green mango.” If the mango is unripe, it will be very hard, so it will need to be tossed with salt to soften it and bring out its flavor before it is dressed with the other ingredients. If it is a sour green mango, it will be an intense green color and not rock-hard; it will also be very sour. In that case, add the sugar—it will make all the difference.
Peel the mangoes and use a coarse grater or a sharp knife to make long, wide strips of mango. (You should have 1½ to 2 cups, loosely packed.)
Place the mango strips in a shallow bowl, add the salt, and toss. Add the remaining ingredients except the fried shallots and toss well. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Just before serving, add the fried shallots and toss, then taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
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