Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tirk Salouk Swai (Cambodian Mango Chilli Salsa)

In June last year, I had a month of Cambodian/Khmer food as part of the world food challenge. Unfortunately I didn't really think ahead to the difficulties of having Cambodian food in June - namely, that it was winter and that Cambodian food makes use of a lot of delicious tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. I've learn't my lesson on this now though, and when people request new countries I try and place them in an order to suit the seasons, rather than just the order that people request them in!

When we had our delicious month of Cambodian food, I found some recipes for Tirk Salouk Swai and I really wanted to try it! Combining fresh sweet tropical fruit with sour tangy lime juice, hot chilli and fresh herbs is so far up my alley that it's set up a shop there. Unfortunately, mangoes in winter is a problem. I was determined though, and I found a fruit shop selling mangoes from Mexico for $10 each. The price hurt but I bought one anyway to make the salsa. Sadly, the mango was of an awful quality. I couldn't cut it up into cubes, it just disintegrated into a stringy mango mush. There was no way I could post it up on the blog. So, I vowed to try again when summer came around and beautiful Aussie mangoes were cheap and in season.

To celebrate the new year and the festive season, I had a group of my fabulous friends and faithful tasters over to have some of our favourite dishes from the year again. It was a great excuse to have another go at the Tirk Salouk Swai. It turned out perfectly this time (phew!) and was the perfect fresh accompaniment on a hot summer say. This salsa would go down very well if you brought it to a BBQ or family lunch, plus you can knock it together in a matter of minutes. 

Tirk Salouk Swai

1 large ripe mango
1 long red chilli
Juice of half a lime
2 shallots (scallions), chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 
2 pinches salt

To Make
1. Peel the mango and slice as much of the flesh off the seed as you can. Dice and place in a bowl. Now, because you're the cook, you get to suck on the seed and get any remaining mango off it.
2. If you don't want the salsa too hot, slice the chilli lengthwise and remove some of the placenta (that's the pale bit that the seeds are clinging to) before finely chopping. Otherwise, leave it all in and finely chop the whole chilli.
3. Add the chilli, lime juice, shallots, coriander and salt and stir well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes before serving, to let the flavours develop. You can make several hours in advance and keep refrigerated, however, best not to make it the night before as the fresh herbs will wilt and start to brown.

If you're making it for a big gathering, I would suggest doubling the quantities, this recipe makes enough for a party of about 4-5 or a party of 6-7 which includes a couple of people who don't like chilli :)

Check out my other Cambodian recipe posts:


  1. To bad about the Mexican mango but hooray for the Aussie mango. The dish looks so refreshing, glad you go to enjoy it with all your friends.

  2. Nice take on a Cambodian mango recipe. I shall give this a try.

    "Cambodian food makes use of a lot of delicious tropical fruits like pineapple and mango."

    Surprisingly, even though we're a tropical country, we don't use pineapple that much. The only salaw that we use it in is salaw machu yuen, which is the Cambodian version of chicken sour soup (Vietnamese have their own version). Most of the time, we just eat it plain or dipped in salt.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me your feedback, I love learning along the way :)
      Hope you enjoy the recipe!