THAI PAPAYA SALAD
A favourite dish in Thailand and Thai restaurants around the world, why not try to make it as a spicy addition to your salad offering for a bbq? Or add more prawns or another protein to make it a main dish.
You will need to get these things at your local grocer or vegetable section of the supermarket: 10 cherry tomatoes, 4 chili peppers, 4 tablespoons toasted peanuts, 2 cloves of garlic, 12 green beans, enough green papaya for 4 cups of it shredded and 2 limes.
If your supermarket is well stocked in Foreign food you should be able to find dried shrimp, fish sauce and palm sugar, however if not you will need to find an Asian food store for these ingredients.
As said above, you can make this into a more satisfying main meal if you also buy some prawns to add to the mix. However there are also options for vegetarians or vegans, as you could buy a veggie burger to go with it, take out the dried shrimp, and replace the fish sauce with soy sauce.
This is best made in a large mortar, and using the pestle to crush the ingredients to let the juices out and allow them to mix together. However you can do things bit by bit with a smaller one and add the ingredients together in a bigger bowl.
First crushed is the garlic, followed by the beans and tomatoes (but don’t go too rough on these ones), then the chili peppers which you should bash longer to make it hotter or not much if you prefer a milder salad. Next goes the papaya, dried shrimp, peanuts, sauce, juice from the limes and sugar.
Thai people usually eat this with sticky rice if you want to go for something very traditional, and a popular variation of the dish is to eat it with salted crab instead of dried shrimp and peanuts (if you’re game to try).
Thai food is known to be one of the spiciest in the world, however once you break down the recipes you realise that they are not only thinking about adding chillies. Just from this meal you can see that they add something from almost all the different flavours such as sweet (palm sugar), salty (peanuts), sour (lime). This is because they like their food to reach all the taste buds possible all in one bite!
However, to an outsider it can be extremely spicy and difficult to get used to. From personal experience I can say that it is not possible for everyone to get accustomed to their level of spice, so be careful with the chillies when making your own Thai food or visiting the Thai restaurant, or Thailand itself.
Do you have any other Thai dishes you like to make at home? Share your comments below