Monday, 19 September 2011

Green Papaya Salad

Traveling through Thailand a couple of years ago I tried my first green papaya salad – I loved it and ordered Som Tam everywhere I went – minus the fish sauce and shrimp paste of course. For me Thai cuisine really ticks all my boxes.
I adore the strong flavours of sour limes or lemons, the salty, spicy and sweet flavours, nothing too subtle about Thai food. This dish is all that is good about Thai food, so fresh and healthy.

Like the ripened version it is so good for you and you can feel it's benefits on your body pretty quickly. Papaya is full of goodness. It's high in vitamin C, A, K, and E. It's also high in magnesium, folate, beta carotene and lutein. It's wonderful to eat if you have any digestive issues, heart disease, arthritis, lung disease and eye disorders. It's full of antioxidants and flavonoids.

I have had so many on my five trees this year it reminded me to make green papaya salad. They are best picked green for this dish, if any, only the slightest tinge of yellow. Peel the skin off and take out the seeds, then grate on the finest grater that you have. You can use a food processor.

There's only so much ripe papaya one can eat! Even me who loves them immensely, needs to get creative. I also made a lovely Chili & Papaya sauce that is wonderful with Samosas. You see that in future blogs shortly but for now this dish is a winner.

Green Papaya Salad
Serves 6 side dishes

4 cups papaya, finely shredded
2 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
1 large red peppers, finely sliced in thin strips
1-2 medium Lebanese cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and finely diced
2 handfuls of green beans, raw or lightly blanched and finely sliced
½ bunch fresh coriander, finely shredded
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup lime juice (1-2 limes)
1tsp good salt
1 tbs tamari (wheat free Japanese soya sauce)
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 fresh chili, de-seeded, and finely chopped *optional
1 small clove garlic, finely minced *optional
Place the freshly grated papaya, spring onions, red pepper, cucumber, green beans and cashews into a bowl and toss to combine the ingredients. Place the lime juice, toasted sesame, tamari, good salt, chili and garlic if you want it, and gently beat with a fork. Drizzle over the salad and toss with the fresh coriander. Serve with any of your favorite Thai dishes or simply as a salad in it's own right.

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