A gorgeous, fresh, thai style salad that will impress your friends but is easy to do. Perfect with some sticky rice and some grilled prawns. A Thai neighbour taught me some Thai basics including the dressing for this salad which is also lovely over steamed fish with chilli and garlic.
For the dressing – this can be made ahead of time
In a small saucepan add the tamarind and water. Place on low heat and break up with a wooden spoon until the water is brown and the tamarind seems dissolved. Pass through a fine sieve, discard the pulp. Place the water in a small saucepan over low heat and add sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring often. Once to a boil, reduce heat and allow to reduce and thicken slightly. Skim off any impurities through this process. Taste for balance and adjust accordingly. Transfer to a jar or bowl and refrigerate.
For the salad
Roast peanuts. Crush for garnish.
Peel and grate the papaya and place on your large serving dish.
In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, chilli, tomato, a decent pinch of salt and about 2 tablespoons of the grated papaya. Tumble that onto the serving dish and toss through with about 8 tablespoons of your dressing and most of the peanuts. Garnish with remaining crushed peanuts and some coriander leaves.
Serve immediately with sticky rice and grilled prawns.
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