This is another one of those fabulously adaptable dishes that seems to be a real favourite with everyone – including me! (I actually start salivating when I think about this salad!!) Depending on what I have in the garden/fridge/larder it turns out slightly differently every time I make it, which fits in with my cooking credo; what can I make with stuff I already have?
If I can tick off the green papayas, lemon grass, makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, chillies, mint, Thai basil, I am already nearly there.
Traditional in South East Asian cuisine it is ideally suited as a herb filled summer salad for it’s crunchy freshness with pungent sour/sweet/salty dressing and hint of chilli. I like to serve it with barbecued star anise chicken and coconut rice with some home made pineapple oil pickle – delish!
NOTE: What you will need, to make your life easier when making this salad, is a speed peeler and julienne shredder – how did I ever live without them? Use these to peel and shred the papaya and carrots. Ordinary graters make them mushy.
- Shredded green papaya, skin removed
- Handful of fresh chopped coriander and mint
- 2 makrut lime leaves finely shredded
- 1 lemon grass stalk, white part only, finely shredded.
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- Fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped – to your own taste
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced (optional)
- Few Thai basil leaves (optional)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut and 1/2 cup raw peanuts tossed in a wok until golden then chopped together.
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 desert spoon caster sugar
Toss all salad ingredients together in large bowl. Top with coconut peanut mix and pour over combined dressing.
Health Benefits: There’s more – this has to be one of the healthiest salads you can eat.
Calories green papaya: only 45 per 100 grams
Digestion: Green papaya has long been known in traditional cultures as a digestive aid. High in fibre and enzymes it aids bloating and constipation and helps to correct gut imbalances.
Nutrition: Papayas are a good source of folate, Vitamin A and C, magnesium and pantothenic acid. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthan (helpful in the prevention and treatment of macular degeneration), Vitamin E, calcium, potassium, Vitamin K and lycopene – the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes. (Source: Medical News today and Wikipedia)