Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thai Green Papaya Salad

One of my good friends turned me onto this Thai Green Papaya Salad at a local Thai restaurant.  I decided that I must learn how to make this salad at home so here is my simple attempt.   You must find and use only the green papaya for this salad because it simply does not work with the ripe papaya.  The green papaya is available in most Asian grocery stores.

Julienne or grate 2 cups of the green papaya
1 1/2 Tbs fish sauce (or to taste)
1 Tbs of brown sugar
1 serrano chilies finely diced
1 red sweet chili finely diced
juice if one large lime
1 clove of garlic grated
chopped roasted peanuts

Optional Ingredients:
handful of grape or cherry tomatoes diced
small handful of Thai basil leaves torn
sunflower seeds roasted and salted (see note)
handful of bean sprouts
Green onion/scallions thinly julienned

First peel the outside of the green papaya well with a vegetable peeler.  Then scrape out the pearl colored seeds.  Rinse the papaya and then use either a grater to create long thin slices or julienne peeler. 

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl (except for the nuts or sunflower seeds).  Allow to chill for about 20 minutes in the fridge.  Serve with nuts or sunflower seeds.

Note: the chopped peanuts are traditional in this dish.  I substituted sunflower seeds for the added crunch and "peanut" taste.  It worked very well.