When we were in Thailand doing this cooking class, I fell completely in love with this salad. It was so saucy, and the ingredients were so beautifully prepared.
When I set out to make this salad for our Asian dinner party, I was prepared to be in my kitchen for two hours, meticulously julienning my various ingredients to achieve this sort of hairy vegetable/fruit effect that this dish requires.
When my husband came in and saw the chaos that I had created, he immediately whipped out his phone and found a Youtube video which showed us how the Thai people REALLY do it.
Have a look before you attempt this recipe:
I had made the mistake initially by cutting up my papaya into wedges, so I was kind of disadvantaged once we figured how to do it properly. My advice would be to leave it whole and in one piece, peel the green skin off with a potato peeler, then go for your life with a knife and get shredding.
When shredding the papaya, carrots and cucumber, try to make really deep cuts that are very close together. For safety, instead of using the knife at the end to remove the shreds, I used a potato peeler, it was really effective!
Additionally, when dealing with the carrots and cucumber, my husband skewered them with a metal skewer so that neither of us lost a finger or a hand while doing this dangerous shredding method. He’s so clever, that husband of mine 🙂
This recipe is all about tasting as you go, so you will need to be a bit intuitive about it. Don’t just trust my recipe and my quantities, keep testing and when you decide the flavour profile is right, it will be amazing.
Serves: 4-6 people
Prep time: 45 minutes
150g shredded green papaya or cucumber
50g shredded carrot
30 g string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
30g tomato, cut into quarters
2 tbsp dried peanuts, reserve some for garnish
2 fresh red chillies, remove stems
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp palm sugar
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tamarind juice
- Blitz garlic and chillies until they form a smooth paste. Set aside in serving bowl.
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the green beans until they are splitting and lightly bruised. Set aside in serving bowl.
- With mortar and pestle, mix palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind juice. Pound until palm sugar separates.
- Add papaya, carrots, and tomatoes and pound on them.
- Add the peanuts and lightly pound until they are broken into tiny pieces, but not to the point where they form a thick paste. Add to the serving bowl.
- Sprinkle reserved peanuts for garnish and serve.
- NB: the taste should be sweet, salty, spicy and sour. If there is not enough flavour, add more of the seasoning ingredients to enhance the taste.