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Asian Jicama and Mango Salad

I love crunchy starchy and juicy of jicama. I love it even more with tender, sweet and tangy kidney mango.

Salad doesn't always have to be the same old thing of uninspired iceberg, waxy tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. And, dressing doesn't always have to be the over-served balsamic vinaigrette or ranch dressing.

Try something new this summer. Inspired by my Asian roots, particularly those in Vietnam, I took a wonderful combination of chunky jicama, mango and cilantro with lime recipe from a friend, and turned it into this refreshing Vietnamese-inspired summer salad. Super delicious serve with a simple bowl of rice, and particularly excellent with coconut sticky rice. If you feel inspired, crank up the heat at the grill, and throw on some meat or seafood because this salad is excellent with a side of grilled protein—chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or fish, because it goes with just about everything.

A word of caution to all of us who love spicy food... take it down a few notches and have a light hand. Every ingredient counts and you want each flavor to come through. The spicy sauce is meant to enhance, not mask ;) ;)

Serves 6

1 large jicama, peeled and julienned (about 4 cups)

3 ngo gai leaves (aka saw leaf), finely julienned (or 1/4 cup chopped cilantro)

1 large mango, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise, about 1/16-inch thick (pit discarded)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon agave nectar

2 teaspoons sambal olek (chunky chili sauce)

2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)

Spicy Sauce: (optional)

3 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil

1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha (or gochujang)

2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)

1. In a large mixing bowl, add the jicama and ngo gai, and toss with fish sauce, agave nectar sambal olek, and 2 tbsp lime juice. Set aside.

2. For the Spicy Sauce: In a small bowl stir together the oil, sriracha and lime juice and set aside for garnish.

3. To assemble, overlap 3 to 5 slices of mango on each of 6 plates. Give the jicama salad a light toss to distribute the juices, and top an equal portion on each serving of mango. Drizzle lightly around with spicy sauce and serve at room temperature or lightly chilled if preferred.

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