At the beginning of the year I visited Dubai where I had some of the most amazing food. Dubai is quite an absurd place for someone who grew up in the Swedish country side but they do bring all the food of the world to one place and they do it well. This dish is inspired by a lunch salad I probably had three times at the local restaurant where we stayed at my partner’s parents’ house. The flavours were similar to a thai green papaya salad but with some tweaks and added goodies. Before I moved to London my spice vocabulary only reached to about salt, black pepper and what we call ‘grill spice’ which is mainly salt and a mix of other spices suitable for barbecuing. Luckily my eyes have been opened and now I love all the flavours of the world, particularly the ones used in Asian cuisine like tamari, ginger, garlic (this one I did use before, I wasn’t completely lost) and chilli. In this recipe all of these come together with some coconut sugar and lime juice to make a yummy dressing for thin rice noodles, or glass noodles if you wish, and strips of green papaya. I have tried to recreate the salad I found and loved and I hope you will too.
On another note I’d just like to say that this recipe is not at all seasonal and never will be in the part of the world I live in as green papaya wouldn’t grow in a climate like Britain’s. I mention this because I often strive to be aware of what is in season when I cook and plan my meals, it’s important for the environment and it tastes better too. Either way I still like to change things up ones in a while and I don’t want to always withhold the inspiration I find in other places in the world and their cuisine. With that said I hope you, like me, stay aware of what you put on your table but that you also treat yourself to something special ones in a while!
PORTIONS: 2-3 / TIME: 30 min
75 g fine rice noodles (I used 0,8 mm) or glass noodles
2 cups green papaya, julienned
1 small carrot, thinly sliced with for example a potato peeler or cheese slicer
10 mangetout pods
6 fine green beans
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 romano pepper
4 tbsp tamari/liquid aminos
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lime, juiced
2 small red thai chillies (or equivalent)
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated, or ground ginger
A few coriander leaves and crushed peanuts for serving (optional)
Follow the instructions on your noodle packet and prepare, I soaked mine in tapped water for 20 min.
Prepare the vegetables; chop the chilli finely, julienne papaya, slice carrot, cut pepper into thin strips, halve tomatoes and cut beans into inch long pieces.
Prepare the dressing by placing coconut sugar in the bowl of a pestle and mortar, along with the minced garlic, chopped chilli, cherry tomatoes, mangetout and green beans. Give it a bash and continue adding the tamari, the lime juice and ground ginger. Mix.
Place the green papaya in a bowl and pour the dressing with vegetables over it.
Set aside and when your noodles are softened and ready to be eaten mix them into the papaya and serve with a few coriander leaves and some crushed peanuts if you wish.