Real Food Fast: Thai Pork and Mango Salad with Mango-Mint Dressing

During the summer, I love substantial supper salads. It’s a great way to get my daily vegetable quota, but I do like swapping the usual greens for something more interesting. Although I often use grains or noodles as a base for a salad, shredded cabbage is filling, more nutrient-dense and lower in calories. I love the crunch and heft of slaw – it takes more work to get through than lettuce.

In this case, dinner is streamlined by using a bag of coleslaw – speed it up further by swapping the pork tenderloin with a deli roasted chicken, the breast meat sliced or shredded. Although a tenderloin (the tastiest and leanest cut of pork) done on the grill is inexpensive and worth the effort. Juicy mangoes make sweet, soft contrast to the slightly salty pork and crunchy slaw. Pureed, a ripe mango also makes a great base for a flavourful, low-calorie salad dressing, replacing the bulk of the oil.

Thai Pork and Mango Salad with Mango-Mint Dressing

This salad would do well with all sorts of vegetables – try pea pods, pea shoots, sprouts or asparagus. Adapted from the experts at Mango.org

1 pork tenderloin
1-2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
4 cups shredded coleslaw mixture (cabbage and carrots)
4 cups chopped romaine
1 cup chopped baby bok choy (dark green leaves only)
2 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup julienned red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. julienned peeled fresh ginger

Mango Mint Dressing:
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1-2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. sesame oil (optional)
pinch salt
1 Tbsp. fresh mint

Season pork lightly with salt and pepper, then rub curry paste onto the surface of the meat. Grill over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until pork has an internal temperature of 160°F. Remove from grill and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Cut pork into strips and place in a large bowl with coleslaw, romaine, bok choy, mango, red pepper and ginger. Drizzle with dressing and toss well to coat.

To make the dressing, puree all the ingredients except the mint in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add mint and pulse until mint is chopped. Toss with the salad or serve alongside. Serves 4-6.

Photo © 2008 National Mango Board and used by permission of the National Mango Board. All rights reserved.

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