Hi dear readers! I know, I know…it’s been a while again, but lately, there have been lots of things going on and cooking, photography and blogging had to take the backseat. But today, I want to share with you a recipe I have been wanting to make for the longest time – a Thai Papaya Salad!
The reason why I could not make it before is because I had to hunt down a green papaya first! Yep, an unripe, green papaya like you can see in the picture below.
Since I was cooking for some girlfriends last Saturday, I made the big trip to the only Asian grocery store I know off in Miami-Dade county – I also wanted to come here for the longest time, but never made it either. Anyways, wow, it was a paradise!! While living in Switzerland, it was really easy and convenient for me to go to the Asian grocery stores, there were several of them in Zurich, where I used to live. But Miami is really heavily geared towards the Hispanic community so that Asian groceries are much harder to find. You would have no problem though to find awesome Argentinian pastry or home-made Cuban food here!
Anyways, this salad is one of my favorite food in Thai cuisine. It’s so intense in flavor and refreshing at the same time. You really got to try this. And in case you also have a hard time finding a green papaya, you can substitute it with carrots, it’s not exactly the same, but works really well. My mum used to do that often when I was little, back then when we didn’t have that many Asian stores in Switzerland either.
Every time I go on vacation in Thailand, I eat tons of papaya salad, or as it is called in Thai, Som Tum. It’s usually really spicy, but I always order “not so spicy” please, maybe with just half a chili? This was one beautiful plate of Papaya Salad I had on my last trip.
The beauty of this salad is also, although it has to come with some must-have ingredients, it’s really very customizable to your liking. My version is for example quite different from the one I ate at the restaurant, I usually don’t include the dried shrimp for example.
Anyways, I hope you’ll enjoy my version of the recipe – and I also added some Superfood sides to create a wholesome and light meal! This flavorful plate contains following Superfoods:
- Brown Rice
I am by the way also co-hosting Fiesta Friday Nr. 33 today, together with Andrea from the blog Cooking with a Wallflower! So if you are free, come and join the party! There are usually some mind-blowing and awesome creations that get shared at this virtual party over at Angie’s blog, The Novice Gardener 😉
Okay, have a lovely weekend and enjoy the recipe! hugs, Sylvia
By thew way, this is how the solid coconut palm sugar looks like that I used for the salad. Palm sugar is a healthier sweetener than refined sugar and I love to use it to sweeten my food. In Thai cuisine it is traditionally used vey often as a sweetener – how good is that! 😉
- 1 green papaya
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 - 2 carrots
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup peanuts
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (for vegetarians and vegans: substitute this with soy sauce instead)
- 1 piece of palm sugar, dissolved in 3 tbsp water or 2 tbsp granulated palm sugar
- 1 - 2 limes
- Top: if you want your salad sweeter, more salty or sour, just modify the amount of palm sugar, lime and fish/ soy sauce!
- Cook the quinoa and the brown rice according to the instructions on the packaging - mix them together after they are done (note: the brown rice usually take about 15 minutes longer to cook the quinoa, so take that into account)
- Peel the papaya, use a vegetable grater to grate stripes and put into a bowl
- Do the same with the carrot and add them to the bowl too
- Crush the tomatoes, garlic and peanuts - if you have a mortar, perfect, if not, put them into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or mug - add them to the papaya and carrot stripes
- Put the palm sugar into a small bowl and add a bit of water, put into the microwave for about 2 minutes to dissolve (or alternatively: use already crystallized palm sugar) - add to the salad
- Squeeze the limes, add fish sauce and mix everything every well - use your hands to mix if necessary
- Serve with the quinoa and brown rice mix and enjoy!