I am ready for school holidays to begin. As the term rushes by, I find myself dreaming of warm weather and holiday food. So when I chanced upon a green papaya at one of my local fruit shops, I grabbed some ginger, chilli, coriander, and a gorgeous new season persimmon to go with it, and then got a snapper to roast alongside it for good measure, and spent the afternoon sitting in my kitchen eating it and pretending I was in Thailand. Just a small stretch of the imagination…
The dressing is the key here. As with most Asian dressings, it is all about balance. I have given an indication of amounts, but it depends how juicy your lime is, how acidic your vinegars, how sweet your sugar and how salty your soy. The best thing to do is taste it. You should be able to taste every component but none should overwhelm. The dressing should be quite punchy, and almost make you pucker at the mouth and this will temper once you add it to the salad. I used roast cashes, but peanuts or macadamias would be great too. If you have some Asian fried shallots, throw them on at the last minute. If you can’t get persimmon, try some finely julienned pineapple for the zingy sweetness.
Green Papaya Salad
1 persimmon (or 1/4 pineapple) julienned
1/2 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 big bunch coriander, roughly chopped
a handful of mint leaves, shredded
2 red chillies, finely diced
a big knob of ginger, finely julienned
a big handful of cashews, roasted and chopped (you can do this in the oven or by dry frying in a non stick pan)
juice of 1 lime
one shallot, finely diced
2 tspn coconut sugar
2 tbspn soy sauce or tamari
1 tbspn white balsamic vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tspn balsamic vinegar
Place all the salad ingredients, except the cashews in a large serving bowl.
For the dressing, place the shallots in the lime juice in a jar and set aside for 5 minutes. (This removes the acridness of the raw onion).
Add the remaining ingredients and shake to combine. Taste and adjust if necessary.
Pur the dressing over the salad. toss to combine. Add the roasted cashews and toss again.