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Papaya Salad

1/ Papaya Salad: 

This is actually a very easy salad to make and you can change the ingredients to suit your fridge contents and the availability of Green Papaya. You need to adjust the heat to your own liking as well. This is by far Thailand's most popular salad and is sold by street vendors all day long. They are normally Thai ladies with their own bicycle cart upon which they cook and serve meals throughout the day, churning out classic dishes mainly to locals, that are cheap, satisfying and always very tasty. It all looks a bit exotic, but once you take the plunge and trust in them, the results are quite rewarding as you get to taste what the locals eat, rather than Westernised versions of them which are on offer everywhere else.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 people):

One Small Green Papaya (available from any decent Asian shop or Grocer). If you don't have access to Green Papaya you may use Celeriac, Carrots,or White Radish. One large Carrot, 8 small Cherry Tomatoes, 8 Green Beans, One or Two Finely Chopped Green Chillis,  a handful of Unsalted, Roasted Peanuts, a handful of Fresh Coriander. For the dressing, 3 tbsps of Fish Sauce, 3 tbsps of Lime Juice, 2 tbsps of Chilli Sauce, 2 tbsps of grated Palm Sugar (decent brown sugar would also suffice).


The Thais have a curious way to prepare the green Papaya. They peel it, exposing the white flesh and then hit it with a cleaver forming thin wedges which are finally chopped off to form the basis of the salad. If you can't do this, then a Mandolin would do the trick, or if you can't do that either, then cut it into Juliennes or thin, fine strips!!
If using Celeriac then you can simply grate it on the largest grating setting.
Then grate the carrot, chop the tomatoes in half, finely chop the green beans and roughly chop the coriander.
To roast the peanuts either pop them in a hot oven for a few minutes, or fry in hot oil for a minute and then pat dry. Careful not to burn them as this can happen in an instant. To break them up, wrap them in kitchen roll and bash them with something flat until the peanuts are in rough quarters.


Mix up the Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Cilli Sauce and Sugar, and check for Heat...if too hot then add some water and more sugar. You need a good amount of dressing for this salad so feel free to add water or more fish sauce. Fish sauce is salty so you don't need more salt. If you like the Thai flavours, then also add a 1/4 of a tsps of Shrimp Paste.


 Mix everything together with the dressing and sprinkle the Coriander on top. Eat fairly soon after making it all to ensure freshness, and to avoid sogginess and discolouration.

 If you've made a hot one, then probably only a beer would do, or milk if it's really hot. 

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