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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.
All can be made ahead of time, just leave the dressing prior to serving. Serve with a wedge of lime for some extra zing!
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