My friend Charlie went travelling round Asia recently. He's one of those people that also geeks out over dishes so I was simultaneously insanely jealous and impressed that he kept a food journal and did a few classes whilst he travelled.
He gave me this recipe for Green Papaya salad and I promised I would try it as soon as possible, so here it is... It's really gorgeous and the flavours are amazing.
Here's how you do it-
Tip a handful of peanuts, about 3 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped birds eye chillis (or thai chillis, if you can get them) a chopped garlic clove, a handful of cut green beans and a heap of crushed cashew nuts into a mortar and pestle. Crush the mixture together. If you can get your hands on green papaya, julienne them and crush with the rest if not, then like us, use julienned carrots. It works, and stills still lovely!
It'll get messy, but that's okay...
I used peanuts from the Chinese Supermarkets- vacuum packed with dried chilli- super spicy!
Add a tablespoon of dark soy and another of light soy, a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in water and the juice of a lime. You can tweak this to taste- I like it with lots of chilli and lime. Serve up and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
On the Side:
This one is really easy! I was searching for a side to make this meal more substantial, without moving away from the Asian vibe. I got this from the GoodFood 101 fish and seafood dishes, which I love!
Boil the basil leaves in a pan for a minute and then put into cold water. Drain and tip into a food processor with 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Whizz into a fine paste. Add the mayonnaise and a squeeze of lime juice. Make sure you reserve the skins.
Blend again, then tip into a bowl and chill.
Thread the bay leaves and prawns onto a skewer or wooden stick. Brush with oil and grill for 4 or 5 minutes. Spoon the mix into the lime skins and serve with the prawns.