Monday, 24 November 2014

Thai Green Papaya Salad

Oh my goodness, so we clearly didn't think that clearly when we had a BBQ the weekend just gone in this 30 degree weather. Heat from the BBQ + heat from the weather? With little to no shade, it wasn't the brightest of ideas, but we coped! Luckily for me, I had this dish on the table to offset the heat.  

This Thai style papaya dish is the perfect combination of having raw papaya plus vegetables, with a kick on the tongue from the salty fish sauce, spicy chillies and acidic lime. Throw in the crunchy peanuts and fresh coriander, you've got a complete humdinger of a dish! Although a salad, this could almost be a complete meal. Finish the salad with a side of seared beef, and you have dinner sorted. 

It's a great alternative to the standard salads that get procured at pot lucks or BBQ's and it isn't very difficult to put together. I would almost say make double of what you think you might need though, because if my platter was anything to go by, you won't be taking home any leftovers!!

Ingredients :
(Serves four)

Half a green papaya,shredded
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
200g long beans, cut into 3cm long
1/4 cup of dried shrimps
2 shallots, chopped
3 birds eye chillies*
2 tablespoons of palm sugar
Juice from 1 lime or 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon of fish sauce 
3 stalks of coriander, finely chopped 
1/2 cup of roasted peanuts

*As always, the amount of chillies depend on how much you can handle. Three chillies is hot so do taste and test along the way so your taste buds aren't blown completely! Start with one and add slowly until you are happy. Like they say, you can always continue to add, but you can't take away!

Steps :

Prepare the papaya, beans and tomatoes. This salad is fairly flexible in terms of the vegetables you add. I've added bangkuang (yam beans) before, or thrown in carrots and beansprouts, or omitted beans because I didn't have any. It's a great way to add in those extra nutrients or adjust to the taste buds of those you are feeding.

In your mortar and pestle, pound the shallots, dried shrimps and chillies together. Add in the juice of lemon, fish sauce and palm sugar. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Put all vegetables together and drizzle the sauce over and give it a good toss.

Put peanuts in the mortar and pestle, and crush roughly. Alternatively you can whizz these through a blender or food processor. You don't want it too fine though!!

Sprinkle over the crushed roasted peanuts and coriander. Serve.

Enjoy this beautifully coloured fresh salad, and if you are in weather like mine, keep safe in the sun! Happy eating friends.

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