Saturday 17 November 2012

Pickled Green Papaya Salad

From Vegie Food: Low-Fat and Delicious, The Australian Women’s Weekly, ACP Magazines, 2006.

Firstly a pickling liquid was made for this. I used a half cup of water with quarter cups of both rice vinegar and white sugar. These were brought to the boil and a halved red chilli added with some salt. It was then simmered for about 5 minutes and then taken off the heat to cool.

In the meantime the green papaya was peeled, seeded and coarsely grated. It was placed into a bowl and the cooled pickling mixture was added. It was then left for an hour.

In the meantime the vegetables were prepared for the salad. A handful of sugar snap peas was topped and tailed and boiled until a little tender but still with a bit of bite to them. A quarter of pineapple was peeled and cut into slices. Half of a red onion was thinly sliced. A long red chill was deseeded and thinly sliced. About a half cup of mint leaves was cut into halves.

The noodles were then prepared. I used rice noodles rather than the bean thread noodles specified in the recipe. These were placed in a large bowl and boiling water poured over. When they had softened and become tender they were drained in a colander and cold water run over them.

A dressing was made by beating the juice of a lime with a tablespoon of brown sugar.

The salad was now ready to be put together. The papaya was drained and placed in a salad bowl. The noodles were added and the two mixed together. Hands seemed to be the best tools for this. The other ingredients were added and gently mixed through. Lastly the dressing was added and the salad was tossed.

This turned out to be quite a pleasant salad. It was not the same as the green papaya salads you might buy at a Thai restaurant but it had enough of the flavour mix you associate with it. My Western background and childhood of three vegetables with a piece of meat has meant I find it difficult to get the proper Asian flavours just right. Bit by bit I’m getting better at it. I’ll get there eventually.

This was a Women’s Weekly cookbook I have not used before though it has lingered on the bookshelf waiting for someone to try it. It’s attractively produced and laid out in a way that makes it easy to use. I have a natural aversion to titles that tell you how you are to respond: this says the food is ‘delicious’ and also says you will ‘feel fantastic’. I prefer to try it and respond in my way not how the marketer tells me to. That aside, this meal was quite enjoyable, ‘delicious’ perhaps not, but I’ll try others and perhaps I’ll find one that is.  

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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