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We have hit warmer temps now in Brisbane and the bigger heartier stews, ragus and pasta dishes are on the menu less. The BBQ is working overtime – just put on a lamb shoulder to smoke now, which would be KILLER with this delicious Asian papaya salad. What makes this papaya salad so great you say? Well, low in calories, no cooking required, packed with healthy items and suitable for vegetarians/vegans ( with a little edit to the dressing) and carnivores too (just add shredded chicken). It’s no wonder that I have made this tons lately.
It’s all well and good me calling it an “asian papaya salad” but as we all know Asia spans quite a bit so lets get a touch more specific. The Thai name where this salad originates from is Som Tam. It’s from the north eastern part of Thailand close to the border of Laos. Stunning place to visit if you haven’t already been I thoroughly recommend it! Typically a green (unripe) papaya is used to make the salad and you can find them on every street corner in this region. Here in Australia it’s a touch harder to find but don’t worry you get similar results from riper papayas. It just means it will be a little “moister”. Ugh, is there ever a good time to use that word?
There are many variations to this salad
- Som Tam Thai – milder & sweeter version
- Som Tam Boo Pla Ra – which uses fermented fish sauce and crab
- Tam Ba – you will find freshwater snails in this one plus MANY other ingredients. Not for the faint hearted!
- Tam Sua – the addition of rice noodles is what makes this on a little different.
Truthfully, my version isn’t one you will find exactly on a street corner in Thailand – sorry, not sorry! It’s one I adapted to the ingredients that are easy to find in supermarkets/farmers markets and also things I use regularly in the house.
Kinda Food We Eat!
Truthfully, I don’t read too many blogs. I have a few that are my favourites that inspire me so I don’t know what ever other blogger out there does. The food I post and the food I make (I think) doesn’t follow the typical food trends – for example I haven’t posted 100 pumpkin spiced recipes the last few weeks!! What I post is the food I like to eat. Luckily for me my wife has VERY similar tastes to me. Or one of us has brainwashed the other. Who knows!! So, when you see recipes like this asian papaya salad or other favs of mine like
It’s because this is the kinda stuff we eat all day everyday. And no we ain’t as big as a house. We fit just fine into our 1000 m2 bedroom 😉 So, if you ever wonder how many of the recipes I post mean something to me. The answer is ALL OF THEM. Infact, just last night we used the spicy miso butter on some carrots & steak!
Ahywho – check out the recipe below, don’t forget to hit me upon instagram and most importantly……………
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!
- 1-2 red chili roughly chopped
- 3 dashes fish sauce optional
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 thumbsize ginger roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp shrimp paste optional
- 10 g palm sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 75 g beansprouts
- 1 carrot julienned
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- 1-2 red chili julienned
- 75 g snow peas julienned
- 200 g papaya grated
- 50 g peanuts chopped
- 1 handful coriander
- 1 handful thai basil
- 1 handful mint
- crispy shallots
- sesame seeds
- black sesame seeds
- Place all ingredients in a pestle & mortar and mix/bash together into a smooth(ish) salad dressing consistency
- Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss together, add 1/2 dressing and toss together adding more dressing as necessary
- Sprinkle with crispy shallots, sesame seeds and fresh herbs to finish
- large mixing bowl
- chef knives
- chopping board
- pestle & mortar
- measuring utensils
- omitting the fish sauce & shrimp paste makes this dish vegetarian/vegan friendly. I recommend adding salt in lieu of these ingredients
- adding some shredded chicken makes this a wonderful main course/communal salad to serve at a party
- using a mandoline will help you chop the carrots easier but if you don't have one don't do a my father on it and rush off to fill your kitchen with unnecessary equipment!
- I used 1.5 chilis in both the dressing and salad and I found it the perfect balance of heat to freshness