Saturday, March 26, 2016

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

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?

Carica papaya

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)

I topped this version with ribbons of toasted coconut
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.
I added some fresh mango and shredded cos lettuce to this one - do you get the idea?

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)

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