Well, I now know what to make when our four-couple Gourmet Club has a Thai themed dinner – this delicate Thai Green Papaya Salad. The dressing is Thai-YUM, I wanted to lick the bowl. It’s a combo of textures, too – crunchy almonds to crisp cucumbers to soft papaya to airy fried rice sticks. But be forewarned: cooking instructor, Hugh Carpenter told us during our Thai class at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village to have party guests stand at the ready when frying rice sticks. And prepare all steps first: make dressing, prep veggies and fruit, fry those sticks. Then TOSS. So Thai-tasty.
Thai Green Papaya Salad
Recipe by cookbook Author and Instructor, Hugh Carpenter
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 firm papaya, partly green
- 1/2 hot house cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 ounces rice sticks (for in-depth instructions on how to fry, CLICK HERE)
- 3 cups cooking oil for frying
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. flavorless cooking oil (safflower or peanut)
- 1 Tbsp. Chinese or Thai chili sauce
- 3 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Toast almonds in a 325 degree F oven for 8 to 12 minutes, until golden.
Peel papaya, cut in half and discard all the seeds. Cut the papaya into thin slices. Overlap the slices and cut papaya into shreds.
Shred cucumber. Shred red pepper.
Prepare rice sticks into small bundles. In a 12 inch sauté pan, heat the cooking oil until a rice stick when added, puffs immediately. Fry the rice sticks in small bundles. When the rice sticks expand, turn them over in the oil and cook another 3 seconds. Remove the rice sticks and drain on paper towels.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients.
To serve: Place papaya, cucumber and red pepper in a large bowl. Stir dressing, add to the bowl and toss evenly to coat. Gently add the rice sticks and toss lightly. Transfer to dinner plates. Sprinkle salad with almonds, serve immediately. Makes 4 servings (I’ll double the recipe for our Gourmet Club of 8).