Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dear Phil

We love to order vietnamese salads at restaurants.  As in Thailand, most salads in Vietnam are NOT vegetarian.  (That ain't no problem for us!).

Last week I had a papaya that just wouldn't ripen. So, I bought a shredding tool and decided to make a green papaya salad with it.

My shredder has a peeler on one side
and a shredder on the other. Fancy!
You can't get green papayas in New Zealand, because they don't grow there.  By the time the imported papayas have arrived they are ripe and soft and the flesh is bright orange. 

Incidentally, William loves most orange fruits and vegetables - papaya, pumpkin, spaghetti squash.  we tried him on rock melon but he refused.  Cats are so fussy.

Next I took a big pile of fresh herbs and aromatics - garlic, shallots, chilli, lime, spring onions, basil mint etc.  Everything I had. I chopped them finely, then mashed them all together with a bit of salt, fish sauce and lime juice in the mortar and pestle.

Vietnamese language lesson courtesy of the maid:
'hom' - smells delicious.
I also added dried shrimp in the mortar in pestle.  In an ideal world I would have added peanuts but I didn't have any.

Then, I mixed the herb sauce together with the shredded papaya.  I used my hands, and they got all slimy.  I just don't think it's possible to make good food without getting a bit messy.

This is the biggest bowl I have.  Turns out there's a lot of flesh on a papaya.
I found that it was a bit salty, because I had added a lot of dried shrimp and fish sauce and salt.  I remedied that by diluting a couple of tablespoons of honey in warm water and adding it to the salad.  This made it quite wet, but it tasted delicious.  So, if you're using dried shrimp - beware.  They are very salty.

I like the way the cross section of a papaya makes a star shape.

1 comment:

  1. I want a fancy peeler/shredder. Salad looks yummo too :-)