Thai Papaya Salad


Thai Papaya Salad – hot sweet sour and incredibly crunchy!

Eish this is such a busy and beautiful time of the year. As Durban emerges from its cloudy cocoon that we now experience in December (Global Warming is here to stay) and January bursts forth – the turquoise blue skies and huge banks of ice white clouds beckon the whole of KZN outdoors. Braaing is such a social activity that whenever anyone decides to throw some meat on the coals – the very next words out of their mouths is. Let’s invite so-and-so! And so it goes – garden tables groan under the weight of summer foods and bottles of wine.

I have been out and about lately reviewing two restaurants – Aqua at Sibaya Hotel & Casino and Cosmopolitan at The Square – both in Umhlanga. Oh – the food that both of these restaurants served to us was wonderful. Keep your eyes out for my reviews and fab pics of their succulent offerings.

It’s the end of the month – VAT needs to be paid – creditors seem to whip themselves into frenzy and we are having yet ANOTHER power failure. I can do nothing! Power failures are like being slapped across the face with a wet fish – blerrie awful!! It’s meat free Monday and I have just realised that my Thai Papaya Salad has dried shrimp in it!!! Please forgive me for I mean no harm …. Oh well, if the power doesn’t come back soon I will probably only get to post this recipe tomorrow!

I am staying with the low fat, diet food from the Far East. This is one of my favourite – if not my favourite summer salad. It’s so crunchy that your jaw aches if you eat too much of it – which, as you guessed, I ALWAYS DO! I discovered it when Tricky and I visited Thailand on holiday. The salad requires a totally unripe – green pawpaw. I spent weeks searching shops for one when I got back from Thailand only to realise that I have 3 pawpaw trees on the boundary of my garden!!! Sometime I scare myself!

YaY – we have power again!!!

Papaya Salad


1 medium sized green papaya

10 cherry tomatoes halved

10 green beans cut into quarters (you could blanch these if you don’t want to eat them raw.)

Fresh coriander – about 1/2cup

1 finely chopped red chilli

1tsp fresh ginger – peeled and finely cut

1/2 cup of chopped roasted peanuts

4 limes – 1/4 cup of lime juice or lemon juice

2 Tbsp of Fish Sauce

1/2 cup of dried shrimp (available at all Chinese shops)

1 round of palm sugar or 2Tbs soft brown sugar or 1Tbs of Xylitol


Peel the pawpaw and shred on a mandolin or grate finely and place in a

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salad bowl.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.

Quarter the green beans and add to the bowl.

Roughly chop the coriander and add.

In a pestle and mortar add the lime/ lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, palm sugar (grated) or soft brown sugar, dried shrimp and chilli and pound gently with the pestle until the sugar has dissolved.

Taste the dressing and adjust – you may like it more or less sweet or salty.

Pour this sweet sour salty and hot yummy Thai dressing over the salad and serve.

As always

Buon appetito



ps: if you live in Durban here is the name and contact details for a really good asian food store

Cheung Hing Hong Chinese Supermarket
35 Newport Avenue, Glenashley, Durban North. Tel: (031) 562 0633

in Cape Town

New Asian Spice Supermarket

Tel 021 434 0598

186 Main Road Sea Point Cape Town



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