Basil Papaya Salad is one of my favorite Thai dishes.
Without turning on the stove, it is a yummy treat that I enjoy in the hot summer days. This is how I make it:
- 1 small firm & green papaya, or about 4 cups shredded papaya
- 1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 6-7 counts green beans, about a 1/2 cup when break into small segments
- 1/2 cup dried shrimp
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce, to taste
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp brown/regular sugar (or about 1 unit of palm sugar)
- some sesame cracker sheets
Papaya: Peel the green skin using a peeler, discard skin. Split in half, use a spoon to discard seeds.
Shred papaya using a peeler with zig-zag blade (a Mandoline Food Slicer or food processor -shredding blade gets the job done quicker). Soak in cold water for 30 mins. (can be shredded and store dry in a plastic bag in the fridge for one day before use)
- Strain and dry the shredded papaya
Green Beans: Break up into about 1 inch length. Blanch green beans -add water and some salt in a container with the beans (water just about level with beans), pop in microwave for about 50 seconds, drain and soak beans into ice water..
I think it tastes just the same uncooked, so I mash the them lightly to allow them to mingle with the dressing sauce.
- Add green beans to the dry shredded papaya
Dressing sauce: In the mortar, lightly mash the dried shrimps to break them up a little. Mash chilies in a corner of the same mortar (cut open the long side and omit the seeds for less heat before mashing). Add lime juice, stir. Add fish sauce, sugar. Stir. Taste.
Peanuts / Cashew nuts: Toast in a pan over medium heat
- Tear up the basil and mix in with shredded papaya
- Pour the dressing sauce over shredded papaya, toss a few times for even coating & let sit about 10 mins. before diving in
- Sprinkle the nuts over salad after dressing is added
Sesame cracker: Pop one sheet in the microwave for about 45 seconds, makes good companion with papaya salad. Fried rice is the other dish that I like to eat with this salad dish.