This green mango salad with smoked fish recipe makes Cambodia’s nhoam svay trei chhae, an aromatic salad full of texture and flavour, thanks to the raw fruit and vegetables, crispy smoked fish, dried shrimp, crunchy peanuts, and a classic Cambodian dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, birds eye chillies, and palm sugar.

Our Cambodian green mango salad with smoked fish recipe for the fantastic Cambodian salad called nhoam svay trei chhae is one of my favourite Southeast Asian salads, with cousins in neighbouring countries. This fragrant and crunchy salad is a little sour, spicy and funky, but it’s the combination of textures and aromas that really makes this salad so wonderful.

This green mango and smoked fish salad recipe is next in our series of classic Cambodian salad recipes that we’ve published here that have so far included Cambodia’s fantastic banana flower chicken salad, a spicy Cambodian minced pork larb, a perfumed grilled beef salad, and an addictive pork and jicama salad that is so light and tasty. And we have more Cambodian salads to come.

If you like this Cambodian green mango and smoked fish salad recipe for nhoam svay trei chhae, then please do browse our other Cambodian recipes, and please also consider supporting our work here on Grantourismo by becoming a supporter of our Cambodian cookbook and Cambodian culinary history on the Patreon platform.

That epic cookbook and culinary history project is documenting the stories and recipes of local Cambodian cooks and chefs across Cambodia for the first time, and you can support this important initiative for as little as the price of a Cambodian green mango salad a month. Please click through to peruse all our recipes from Asia and beyond.

Green Mango Salad and Smoked Fish Recipe for Cambodia’s Nhoam Svay Trei Chhae

I only have a few tips for making this Cambodian green mango salad and smoked fish recipe. As with all Cambodian and northern Southeast Asian salads, always make your dressing first to let the flavours meld together. But always add the dressing last to the actual salad so it doesn’t get too wet and soggy.

With your dressing, if you’re not familiar with northern Southeast Asian cuisines, such as Cambodia, Thai, Lao, and Vietnamese, don’t add all the dressing ingredients, especially fish sauce and chillies, into the dish at once. Of course, if you know and love these cuisines you’ll probably want to add everything and more. If you don’t, just add bit by bit and taste and taste and adjust to your liking.

The dressing for this Cambodian green mango salad with smoked fish recipe should be balanced, so if it’s too sour, add more sugar. If it’s too sweet, add a little more lime juice or fish sauce. If it’s too hot… sorry, there’s really nothing you can do. You need to start again and skip the chillies. If you don’t love spicy food, then you should initially leave the birds eye chillies out, remove the tiny white seeds (while wearing gloves) and wash them in drinking water. Then add little by little, combining and tasting as you go.

The smoked dried fish for this Cambodian green mango salad with smoked fish recipe involves a little bit of preparation that is not difficult but it’s a bit fiddly.

In Cambodia, we buy skewers of the small smoked fish that you see in the image above from the local markets. These crispy dried fish are typically small local freshwater fish called trey riel, which tend to be either baby carps or Indonesian snakehead fish, although trey slak, trey changwa mool, and trey russey are also used. They are smoked in rustic homemade wood-fire smokers in the floating villages around the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) in Cambodia, just as they have been smoked for well over a thousand years.

In other Southeast Asian countries, you’ll find similar kinds of small smoked fish at local markets. Outside the region, you should look for these in your nearest Chinatown or Asian supermarket. They will be in the dry goods section as these smoked fish are completely dried all the way through with a crispy texture. If you can’t find them, you could always try to smoke your own fish.

Once you get hold of your smoked fish, you need to pull off the heads, tails and fins, and then pull out the spine. You then need to pound the remains of the fish (which isn’t a lot, but is the best bit!) in a granite mortar and pestle. You’ll find that any fine bones that are left rise to the surface and you can pull those out. The almost fluffy, textured dried fish left in the bottom of the mortar is what you’ll want to add to your salad. Run your finger through it to make sure there are no tiny bones in there then set aside.

Prep your fruit and vegetables, grating or julienning your green mango, cucumber, shallots, and optional carrot and throw it all into a big bowl. Note that julienning will result in a crunchier salad, while grating will result in a softer texture. A combination will give you something in between. Wash and gently pat dry your ‘chi’ or fresh fragrant herbs – basil, mint and coriander are perfect. Pluck the leaves from the stalks and set aside.

Drain your dried shrimps then throw half into a big salad bowl with the fresh fruit and vegetables, dressing, smoked dried fish, and half of the herbs and peanuts – set the rest aside for garnish – and combine everything gently using gloved hands. Pile your Cambodian green mango salad with smoked fish into a large serving plate or distribute across smaller bowls, then garnish with the remaining fresh herbs, dried shrimps, and peanuts, and serve immediately.

Cambodian Green Mango Salad and Smoked Fish Recipe

Green Mango Salad with Smoked Fish Recipe for Nhoam Svay. Copyright © 2020 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Green Mango Salad with Smoked Fish Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Sharing
Cuisine: Cambodian
Servings: 4 Sharing
Calories: 1444kcal
Author: Lara Dunston

Ingredients

  • 6-8 dried smoked fish 6cm length
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2-3 bird’s eye chillies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp liquid palm sugar – or dissolve palm sugar in a little hot water first
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimps
  • 1 big green mango grated/julienned
  • 1 medium sized cucumber grated/julienned
  • 1 small carrot grated/julienned (optional)
  • 3 small purple shallots finely sliced
  • 1 cup mixed fresh fragrant herbs basil, mint, coriander etc
  • 3 tbsp roasted peanuts chopped and crushed

Instructions

  • First make your dressing by combining the fish sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice, palm sugar, and finely chopped garlic and bird’s eye chillies in a dish and set aside. Taste and adjust to your liking. It should be balanced. Too sour? Add more sugar. Too sweet? Add a little more lime juice or fish sauce. Too hot? Nothing you can do, sorry. Start again and skip the chillies. Best to begin with one birds eye chilli, taste, then gradually add more. You may also want to remove the tiny white seeds – with gloves.
  • Soak your dried shrimps in a small dish of drinking water.
  • Prep your smoked dried fish (pictured above) by pulling off the heads, tails, fins, and spine, and then pounding the remains of the fish in a granite mortar and pestle. You’ll find that any fine bones that are left rise to the surface and you can pull those out. The textured dried fish left in the bottom of the mortar is what you’ll want to add to your salad. Run your finger through it to make sure there are no tiny bones in there then set aside.
  • Prep your fruit and vegetables, grating or julienning your green mango, cucumber, shallots, and optional carrot and throw it all into a big bowl. Note that julienning will result in a crunchier salad, while grating will result in a softer texture. A combination will give you something in between.
  • Wash and gently pat dry your ‘chi’ or fresh fragrant herbs – basil, mint and coriander are perfect. Pluck the leaves from the stalks and set aside.
  • Drain your dried shrimps then throw half into a big salad bowl with the fresh fruit and vegetables, dressing, smoked dried fish, and half of the herbs and peanuts – set the rest aside for garnish – and combine everything gently using gloved hands.
  • Pile the salad onto a large serving plate or distribute across smaller bowls, then garnish with the remaining fresh herbs, dried shrimps, and peanuts, and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 1444kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 229g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 825mg | Sodium: 1841mg | Potassium: 5413mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 5314IU | Vitamin C: 91mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 6mg

Do let us know if you make our green mango salad and smoked fish recipe for Cambodia’s nhoam svay trei chhae as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.

End of Article

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