Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GREEN PAPAYA SALAD to allay the carnival comedown

after a pretty hectic Notting hill carnival, envolving 3 separate venues, a lot of dancing in the street, some beers and a pile of ackee and salt fish, i needed some more clean fun.

the thai green papaya salad is laden with small strong chillies and the papaya is steeped in a lime heavy dressing, sweetened with tomatoes and palm sugar. it couldn't be a better way to end the bank holiday, cleansing and double fresh. and the texture of papaya is lovely - really supple and silky. the main thing is to make sure that you mash up most of the ingredients in a pestle and mortar.

1 tbsp palm sugar
2 small chillies, finely chopped
6 cherry tomatoes
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp fish sauce
1 small green papaya
a handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
1 stick of lemon grass, blanched for 10 minutes in boiled water, and finely chopped
2 handfuls of unsalted peanuts

place the palm sugar, chillies and tomatoes in a pestle and mortar and really give it a good grind. this will bruise and bring out all the flavours. add lime juice and fish sauce and give it another good mash up. set this aside. peel the papaya, and then continue to use the peeler to shave off ribbons into a large salad bowl. use about 1/2 of the papaya. sprinkle over the mint and chopped lemon grass. pour over the dressing and clean out the mortar. now crush the peanuts and finally sprinkle these on top.

we ate this with rare brazilian steak from manuel's. it was the perfect antidote to a heavy bank holiday.


  1. I need some of that cleansing papaya goodness.. rum head at work.. groan.

  2. The slightly tart flavor of the green papaya combines well with the spice of red chili pepper and the saltiness of shrimp paste and fish sauce, plus the sweetness of honey. Green papaya salad is a beautifully unique and flavor-filled dish that will make a great impression.