This Asian Zucchini Salad will impress your guests with its wonderfully refreshing summer flavours. It will also use up your summer zucchini all in one fell swoop! We have partnered this salad with tart green mangoes, zucchini flowers and coconut flakes - divine!
The raw zucchini strips have melded and marinated in our zingy lime and coconut dressing to produce this shredded zucchini salad - the perfect summertime dish!
Add some sharp-tasting, slightly sweet green mangoes and earthy zucchini flowers, and you'll have a mouthwatering salad that's perfect for outdoor entertaining. It's a recipe that's sure to be a hit with family and friends!
If you have scored a bumper crop of zucchini or pumpkin flowers, why not try using them in our Middle Eastern Zucchini Flower Salad or in our Arugula Squash Flower Salad?
What Are Raw or Green Mangoes?
Raw mangoes picked when just mature are known as "green mangoes!" These little gems are firm, with a shape similar to ripe yellow mango - oval or slightly kidney bean-shaped.
What makes them special is their small seeds, crispy flesh, and a not-too-sour, not-too-sweet taste.
Head to your local Asian Greengrocer to pick up some of these delicious treats. Or, if you can't find them, a regular mango should make a wonderful substitute.
Just be sure to use them up quickly, and store them in the fridge, so they don't ripen too fast!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Dark Green Zucchini – we use the dark green “black beauty” zucchini because it is a lot sturdier than other zucchini and holds up well, also for a strong colour contrast with the other ingredients.
- Cucurbit Flowers (either pumpkin, squash or zucchini/courgette) – we had them, and we used them! They add a pop of sunny colour to this salad, and I love them raw.
- Green Mango – added for some sweet, nutty flavour and a touch of sourness. You can use a regular mango, but you will need to cut it by hand as it will be too soft to use a mandoline or v-slicer.
- Herbs – we have used a bunch of coriander/cilantro and a bunch of Asian mint. If you find that fresh coriander tastes soapy, you can swap it for some Thai basil instead. Asian mint is the mint with the long thin leaves, and you can use regular mint instead.
- Coconut Flakes – added for their wonderful aroma and slight crunch. Swap with some toasted sesame seeds.
- The Dressing – we have kept it super easy and light by making a coconut and lime dressing here; a great alternative would be our sesame vinaigrette (swap the coconut flakes for black and white sesame seeds). Or, for some complex flavour, our Thai vinaigrette would also be an excellent alternative.
Variations and Additions
- If you don't like the idea of raw zucchini, you can swap for some seedless cucumbers instead - try Lebanese/Persian cucumbers, English or Kirby.
- Instead of zucchini strips, you can make spiralized zucchini noodles instead. Our zoodles post explains how to spiralize zucchini and how to make zucchini noodles by hand.
- For a spicy kick, add some sliced fresh chillies or some red pepper flakes or drizzle with hot chilli oil.
- For a pop of colour, add some strips of red bell pepper/capsicum, some sliced cherry tomatoes, or some julienne carrot strips.
- Make it extra crunchy by adding some crushed toasted peanuts or roasted cashews.
- Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a meal.
You Will Need
💡Tips & Meal Prep💡
- Make this salad an hour or two in advance and keep it chilled in your fridge; this will allow the zucchini strips and mango to marinate in the incredible zingy coconut lime dressing and absorb the aromatic flavours from the herbs.
- It is fantastic the next day, and you could try adding some vermicelli noodles or flaked salmon to make it go further.
- Also great for meal prep as it tastes better and better with time; for some added protein, try grilled chicken or some deep-fried tofu for vegetarians.
How to Make It
Step 1 - Prepare Your Ingredients.
Wash the dark green zucchini, cut off the tops and bottoms, and then peel the green mango.
Cut the zucchini and green mango into julienne using a sharp knife, a julienne peeler, or with the julienne attachment on your mandoline slicer.
Gently cut your flowers into strips with a small sharp knife; our zucchini flower post gives you step-by-step instructions.
Wash your mint and coriander (cilantro) under cold running water, shake to remove excess water, and then strip the mint leaves from the stems. Cut off the coriander stems, and chop roughly.
Transfer everything to a large mixing bowl along with your coconut flakes. Taste your salad before adding the dressing; then, if your mango tastes too tart, add the sweetener to your dressing.
CUT ZUCCHINI FLOWERS INTO STRIPS
CUT ZUCCHINI INTO JULIENNE
PEEL GREEN MANGO
CUT GREEN MANGO INTO JULIENNE
PICK THE MINT LEAVES FROM THE STEMS
Step 2 - Shake-up the Salad Dressing.
Add all the dressing ingredients to a small glass jar, season with salt and pepper and shake until emulsified.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
ADD DRESSING INGREDIENTS TO JAR
SHAKE UNTIL EMULSIFIED
Step 3 - Assemble Your Asian Zucchini Salad.
Season your salad with salt and pepper, then give your vinaigrette one more shake and pour over your salad.
Toss your salad until well combined, taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange in a salad bowl and keep chilled in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
PLACE INGREDIENTS IN A BOWL
POUR OVER DRESSING
TOSS WELL TO COMBINE
ARRANGE IN A SALAD PLATTER
🍽 Serving Suggestions
A perfect summer salad that I made to get rid of all the zucchini and zucchini flowers that we managed to collect from our generous neighbour. But also because it was just too darn hot to think of cooking anything in the kitchen!
We served it with some fresh prawns and barbecued sweet chilli octopus for a delicious al fresco dinner.
If you are looking for something a bit more traditional to serve with this salad, try juicy barbecued chicken breasts, sticky honey soy chicken wings or some grilled white fish fillets such as barramundi or snapper.
People Also Ask
If you find the idea of eating raw zucchini unappealing, then it is fine to use cucumbers here instead.
Zucchini is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers numerous health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fibre, potassium, and magnesium and low in calories - perfect for dieters 😃.
Eating zucchini raw is totally safe, but it sometimes it can be a bit bitter - that's a sign that it's got high levels of cucurbitacins. These compounds can be toxic, but you won't get sick from eating the zucchinis you buy at the store, so don't worry!
Zucchini's tender skin doesn't need to be peeled. Peeling it might actually strip away some of its nutrition and fibre. Plus, it's too delicate for any kind of scrubbing. Just give it a quick rinse. If you're worried about pesticides from store-bought zucchini, you can wash it in a vinegar solution for extra peace of mind.
To make up a vinegar solution for washing veggies, use one part vinegar to three parts water, drop them in for 5-10 minutes, then take them out, rinse and pat dry.
This is a versatile salad that suits all eating styles - Dairy-Free; Gluten-Free; Keto; Low Carb; Nut-Free; Paleo; Vegan; Vegetarian; and Whole30.
Each serving contains 266 calories and has a net carb count of 15 grams.
(Please note that nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using a nutritional database and should be considered only as an estimate.)
More Zucchini Salad Recipes
- Julienne Peeler or Mandoline / V-Slicer
- 2 medium dark green zucchini (280 grams, 3 cups julienned)
- 6 flowers curcubit flowers (either pumpkin, squash or zucchini/courgette)
- 1 small green mango (raw)1 (approximately 300 grams or 1 ½ cups julienned)
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro) (chopped, approximately 1 small bunch)
- 2 cups Asian mint (leaves only)
- ¼ cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons MCT or melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ teaspoon sweetener, either honey or maple syrup (Optional, you may need it if your mango is too tart)
- Wash and trim your zucchini, peel your green mango then cut them both into julienne using a sharp knife, julienne slicer or with the julienne attachment on your mandoline slicer. (Alternatively you can coarsley grate them).
- Gently cut your flowers into strips with a small sharp knife.
- Wash your mint and coriander (cilantro) under cold running water, shake to remove excess water, then strip the mint leaves from the stems. Cut off the coriander stems, and roughly chop.
- Transfer everything to a large mixing bowl and add the coconut flakes. Taste your salad before adding the dressing then if your mango tastes too tart add the sweetener to your dressing.
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar, season with salt and pepper and shake until emulsified.
- Season your salad with salt and pepper, pour the dressing over your salad and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste,
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve.
- Available from Asian Greengrocers or you can use a firm unripe mango instead.
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