With the weather still hot and the evenings steamy, it’s a lovely time to think about  eating an Asian salad for dinner.

   Chef Mei Ibach, who just got back from a two-week jaunt to Asia, shared this recipe from the Street Food class she is going to give this Saturday at Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg. 

    This salad is traditionally made using a large mortar and  pestle to blend, thus softening the green papaya, tomato and marrying the different texture and flavors.  If green papaya is not available, carrot, green apple or green mangoes make a good substitute.

 Green Papaya with Grilled Shrimp Salad

 Serves 6 to 8

 15 large shrimp, shelled and deveined

 1 tablespoon canola oil

Salt and pepper

 1 cup  carrot, julienned

 1 small green papaya, peeled, seeded and julienned

 6 cherry tomatoes, lightly crushed

 1 tablespoon  roasted peanuts

 ½ pound long beans

 ¼ head green cabbage, cut into wedges

1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)

 Fresh cilantro for garnish

 For dressing:

1 large clove garlic, minced

 2  Thai bird-eyes chilies or Serrano chilies, finely chopped

 ½ teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

 2 tablespoons fish sauce

 For salad: Season the shrimp with oil, salt & pepper and grilled until they turn opaque, do not overcook the shrimp or it will turn chewy. Set aside.

 In a salad bowl, mix in the carrot, papaya, tomatoes and peanut. Toss the dressing with the shrimp and salad and mix well. Line a serving plate with lettuce and mound the salad on top.  Place the wedges of cabbage and beans around the edges of the plate.

 For dressing: In a small mixing bowl, mix in the ingredients for dressing and mixed well.

 Note for Traditional Thai Method: If using a mortar & pestle, place the garlic, dried shrimp, chilies, peanut and sugar in the mortar and pound thoroughly to almost a paste.  Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce, tomatoes, and gradually add in the papaya and carrots. Pound it with the pestle to blend the dressing and soften the papaya.  Add in the peanut.


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