Green Papaya Salad
1/2 cup tamarind paste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp palm sugar syrup
one disc melted in 2 tablespoons water to make a thick syrup
3 each Thai chilies
rough chopped (de-seed to lessen the heat)
7 each garlic cloves
rough chopped
1 tbsp dried shrimp
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
add more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 each green papaya
peeled, de-seeded and julienne to yield about 8 cups
2 each carrots
peeled and julienne
1 bunch long bean
cut in 1” pieces to yield about 4 cups
1/2 bunch Thai basil
1 cup cherry tomato
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
For the Dressing
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve your tamarind paste and water until it breaks down and becomes a paste, about 10 minutes. Pass the tamarind mixture through a chinois or fine mesh strainer and reserve ½ cup of the liquid.
In a small sauce pot, melt the palm sugar with the 2 tablespoons water over medium heat until a syrup is formed and reserve. In a large clay mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, chilies and dried shrimp together until it forms a paste and is homogenous. Transfer this paste to a medium bowl and add the tamarind syrup, palm sugar syrup, lime juice and fish sauce. Mix well and reserve in the large bowl.
For the Salad
Julienne the green papaya and carrot with either a mandoline, a box grater, or the shredding attachment on a food processor. Chop the long bean into bite sized pieces. By hand, tear off a few Thai basil leaves. Add these four ingredients to a large stainless bowl and pour some dressing over them.
Using the pestle, bruise lightly to meld the flavors then add more dressing to taste. Now toss in the cherry tomatoes and check the seasoning. Adjust with more dressing or one of the dressing’s components. It is almost ready to serve.
Before serving, garnish with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts.
For vegan version, omit dried shrimp and substitute fish sauce with mushroom soy sauce or wakame seaweed broth by simmering 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of loosely packed shredded dried wakame.