Who doesn't love the sound of some crispy pork & papaya salad? Recently Riverview Farms launched an absolutely delicious hot roast pork with crackle nationwide to Coles. It's the PERFECT want a tasty midweek dinner but don't want to slave away in the kitchen cooking for AGES dinner. I was lucky enough to team up with them and create a few side dishes to go with the pork. I can tell you, as much as I love cooking - hence the food blog there are definitely days that I'm over it all. Between having to make separate meals for a fussy toddler, wash umpteen different clothes washes a week, swimming lessons, ballet lessons and my own personal wine time somedays I just need something quick and tasty on the table!!
ABOUT RIVERVIEW FARMS
Owned by Rivalea Australia and based in New South Wales the company has been around for 40 years. Riverview Farms itself slogan is 'better than a country mile'. Having tasted and worked with their hot roast pork and crackle I can certainly attest to the quality. It starts with the people behind the product. Staff are hugely knowledgeable and passionate in what they do. Built up from a local community, the animals are treated with huge respect and are almost part of the family too.
HOT ROAST PORK WITH CRACKLE
Hot pork is one necessity when cooking a roast pork dinner but everyone knows it's all about the crispy crackle on top. You can search the interweb and come up with a million and 1 ways to do it. Leave the pork dry out in the fridge for 24hours, salt the pork with about 10kg of salt, pour boiling water over it etc etc. Don't get me wrong, I do love cooking up a bit of pork belly and nailing the skin just as much as the next guy. But on a Tuesday night or a busy Saturday day of working, shopping and entertaining sometimes you need a little help in the kitchen. Just because you need help it doesn't mean it needs to be unhealthy too.
The pork is cooked in store daily - usually multiple times a day so you know you are getting a fresh product. To me the key is to have your or your better half to make the sides at home whilst the other swings by the shops to pick it up on the way home. If this isn't easy to do then don't stress as they have added some easy instructions to make sure the skin stays crispy. I guess this is where I come in to produce a simple side dish to enjoy with the pork. I give you my crispy pork & papaya salad with a simple Asian dipping sauce.
SIMPLE PAPAYA SALAD
That's the aim of the game here. Keep it simple. Truthfully though, just because it's simple it doesn't have to be boring or lack flavour. Sometimes the beauty of "cheating" by buying precooked meat means you can focus more on the sides. This crispy pork & papaya salad recipe is one that is both SIMPLE, quick and packed with flavour. The best thing is if you don't finish it all you can slice the pork up nice and thin and mix it in with the salad for tomorrows lunch! Using ingredients found in pretty much every Aussie supermarket and a few pantry staples I'll show you how to impress everyone at the table!
NAM PRIK PLA
What is this? Simply, it's a dipping sauce that is very popular in Thai cuisine. My version is a little twist on the traditional one and was inspired by my buddy Luke aka Skipper Rutts - check him out. Boy, would I like to live next door to this fella! The dish consists of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar - I use palm but you can substitute castor instead, just use less of it, garlic, chili & ginger. I have added some coriander to mine. Firstly because I am using it in the salad but also to add a little more freshness to the dressing. Like in all Asian cuisine there is a great balance of salty, sweet & spicy. The sauce works wonderfully with pork, on steak, with chicken and salmon. It's one of our go to sauces when I want maximum flavour and minimum work.
If you make the sauce without the addition of coriander it will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in a sealed container. Why not whip up a batch and when you need some then chop some coriander and add it to a % of it each time. Can't believe I didn't think of this before to be honest!!
MAKING THE SALAD
Salads shouldn't be hard to make. Especially one when you are trying to have a quick n tasty meal! I would say the most complex part of this dish is either grating papaya or making sure you don't rub your eyes after chopping chili!! Simple ingredients like beansprouts which are super healthy and offers great freshness, to snow peas - a healthy green veg, mint and coriander for freshness and peanut for a little salty crunch this is defo a on the table salad in about 10 minutes. That is assuming you have a sharp knife and chopping board at home??
Get yourself a large mixing bowl, lay out all the ingredients and just simply chop then up finely. Yes, we want to make it pretty but the beauty of salads are it'a all being mixed together so you can disguise your dodgy knife skills if necessary. Truthfully though the key is just in making sure you chop the veggies in a similar shape. As you are using beansprouts which are long and thin then try to mimic that shape for the rest.
Cut the chili lengthways, remove the seeds and then slice it thin. Turn the snowpeas lengthways and slice then that way so you have longer strips. Peel the papaya and if you have a fancy peeler/grater thingy like I do the use that to get nice strips or just use the peeler and have long peeled strips of papaya in the salad. Don't over complicate things just make sure you use good fresh ingredients.
Let's face it, life is hard. It's made even harder by the fact we need to work/have a little turd of a thing that we adore hanging off our leg and making a GIANT mess on the regular!! Without the addition of wine in my life I don't know what I would do!! Luckily for me I have found a cracking site and way to up my intake of wine without going broke!! The guys over at winedirect.com.au are killing it with their wine deals. I opened up their Massena Field Block wine recently and LOVED it! Field blend isn't a term you come across all too often nor is it a wine I have tasted much of. But, the concept is AWESOME.
As my good friend Dan describes it imagine making a spice rub for some brisket or pork butt? You don't just use salt and pepper do you? You grab about 6 or 7 ingredients and make the perfect blend. Well that's what the farmers/winemakers/mad scientists have done here. They have planted a wide range of grapes together to make a blend - riesling, grenache, verdelho & mataro to name a few. It tastes like honeydew, lemon sherbert and ginger. Definitely a food wine and one that is KILLER with pork and more importantly Riverview Farms crispy pork & papaya salad.
ALTERNATIVE FAMILY DINNERS
Here are some other dinners on my page that are great for the family. Some are defo easier than others to make but the results have all been the same #success 😉
Asian Pork Meatballs - on the table in 30 minutes or so!
Crispy Chicken & Corn Salad - simple grilled meal that is perfect for those warmer days outside.
Chicken Satay Sandwich - because life without satay ain't worth living!
Beef Cheek Ragu - takes a bit to make but TOTALLY worth it. We eat it at least once a week!
Simple Chicken & Mushroom Pie - tastes great, freezes well and toddler approved 😉
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 1 Riverview Farms pork
- 200 g papaya grated or finely chopped
- 150 g beansprouts
- 1 handful mint torn
- 1 handful coriander
- 50 g peanuts chopped
- 2 spring onions sliced at an angle
- 2 red chili thinly sliced
- 100 g snow peas thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp sesame seeds optional
Nam Prik Pla
- 6 tbsp lime juice
- 6 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red chili finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 knob ginger grated
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 1 handful coriander stalks and all – finely chopped
Nam Prik Pla
- Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. Can be made up to 1 day in advance
- Cut/chop ingredients according to instructions above. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently
- Slice your delicious and crispy river view farms pork and serve salad on the side. Drizzle the salad and pork with a little nam prik pla.
- chef knives
- chopping board
- large mixing bowl
- small mixing bowl
- measuring utensils
- don't stress - the biggest tip/trick I can offer in a kitchen. Truthfully though - it's a salad so it doesn't need to look perfect!
- use the stems/stalks of the coriander - these parts offer HUGE flavour and the alternative is it just chuck em so that's just foolish
- if you can't get papaya then you can substitute things like peach, mango or nectarine for that sweet fruity taste. Grated carrot is also another good addition to the salad.