Spicy Green Apple Salad (ยำแอบเปิ้ล)

thai salad
I made this impromptu salad the other day as the topping for a piece of pan-fried halibut. It was nothing special — just a simple salad that is normally made with grated green mangoes. Actually, I think I’ve come to like this version made with tart and crisp Granny Smith apples much more.

It’s the crunch. I like the crunch.

Spicy Green Apple Salad (ยำแอบเปิ้ล)
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad, Condiment
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: Makes 2 cups
  • One medium Granny Smith or very firm and tart apple
  • One medium (50g) shallot
  • Two small tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Dried red pepper powder, to taste
  • About 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves
  1. Put 2-3 cups of iced water in a bowl; keep it handy.
  2. Core the apple and cut it in half. Slice each half lengthwise into thin slices. Make stacks of 4-5 apple slices and cut them lengthwise again into thin matchsticks.
  3. Soak the apple matchsticks in the prepared iced water.
  4. Slice the shallot thinly lengthwise.
  5. In a mixing bowl, toss together the shallot slices, tomatoes, the well-drained apple matchsticks, and cilantro.
  6. Season to taste with fish sauce, lime juice, and dried red pepper powder.
  7. Serve immediately as a topping for grilled or pan-fried fish. (This salad goes particularly well with a piece of halibut, lightly salted, dusted with flour, and pan-fried until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the flesh is moist and flaky.)
Variations: Throw in about ¼ cup of roasted cashews. Perhaps some grilled shrimp?


  1. This is great! My parents often substitute recipes that call for green mango with granny smith apples because they are so easily available compared to green mangoes. I love that others do this as well!

  2. Mary – Thanks. But to clarify, this recipe isn’t meant to mimic som tam. It’s more of a salsa-like topping than an entree salad.

  3. I’m allergic to mango so this recipe is perfection for me! Though I toss in peanuts instead of the optional cashews, since I’m allergic to those too.

  4. This was great. I skipped the ice water bath, instead making the dressing first and just tossing the apple in that directly. It was a great side salad for some seared tuna.

  5. Here is my recipe of a similar salad which I first ate at a restaurant called “Red Pepper” in Bangkok:

    Granny Smith or similar tart green apple[s].
    Cut the apples as the original recipe above.

    Squeeze out juice of half a lime/lemon.
    Mince/fine dice a couple cloves garlic.
    Cut up a bit of red or green chili [de-seeded if you prefer].
    A splash of fish sauce.
    A half teaspoon of brown sugar [or white!].
    A bit of crushed black pepper.
    Mix all these together.

    Lightly roast a handful shelled and skinless peanuts [or cashews] in a pan.

    Mix the toasted nuts into the apples, add the spicy mixture, garnish with coriander and mint leaves.


  6. I am going to make this for a friend afternoon BBQ this saturday, can i make it on friday night?

    • Not a good idea as apples oxidize and soften very quickly. Refrigeration doesn’t even help. This is best done right before you serve it.