Green Papaya Salad with Prawns and Meat

About two years ago upon my return from my honeymoon in Vietnam, I promised I was going to share with you some Vietnamese recipes but basically it went out of the window and I´ve hardly cooked anything Vietnamese since. One reason being that it´s difficult to find the ingredients where I live and the other being that I just haven´t got round to it.

I have cooked this salad before and enjoyed it so decided to make it again for my mum. It´s a lovely, refreshing salad, ideal for a hot summer´s day,which takes me right back to my honeymoon and the flavours of Vietnam. This salad is a bit of a faff to make though so I don´t do it on a regular basis but it´s great if you want to impress someone or for a special dinner party. This recipe is based on a recipe from the book Delicious Dishes from Vietnam.

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

1 green papaya (about 450g)....if you can´t get a green papaya,a normal papaya will do
100g -150g pork belly
150g prawns (I think I used slightly less prawns as am not overkeen on prawns)
1 carrot, finely grated
a pinch of chili flakes or 1 jalapeño pepper,seeded,1/2 grated,1/2 minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced and soaked in vinegar for 10 minutes
2 tsp crushed garlic
50g roasted peanuts, crushed
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce (if you can´t find fish sauce, use soy sauce)
4 tsp salt
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
fried shallots or crispy fried onion
1/4 cup vinegar
bag of ready-prepared prawn crackers


1. Peel papaya,remove seeds and grate,add the grated carrot to the papaya.Sprinkle 2 tsp of salt on the carrot and papaya and squeeze out the juices,then rinse and drain well.
2. Wash prawns. Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tsp of salt.Place prawns in a saucepan and boil in the vinegar mixture for 5 mins. I used frozen prawns but still cooked them in this way...if using fresh prawns, peel shells but leave the tails on.
3. Boil belly pork in 1/2 litre of water and 1 tsp of salt  for about 20 mins. When cooked, slice into 3cm long pieces.
4. Mix fish sauce, chili flakes, lime juice,garlic and sugar together.
5. Mix papaya, carrot, prawns, meat,shallots,coriander together with the fish sauce dressing.
6. Sprinkle salad with fried onions and peanuts and place prawn crackers around the salad attractively and enjoy the taste explosion in your mouth.


Malteasers cake

My husband´s birthday was looming and I was searching for a cake that I could make him as he´s not keen on fondant or buttercream (I didn´t realise at first that this cake also has buttercream!!) so I usually make him a chocolate cake.Not really an easy feat to decorate as his birthday falls in July and it´s so hot that everything melts!! I had been wanting to make this cake ever since I first saw it on a fellow blogger´s blog, Baking Cakes Galore, so now was the perfect excuse.I want to dedicate this recipe to Rosie from Baking Cakes Galore as she was very inspiring and also very encouraging in the early days of this blog.

I cannot take the credit for this recipe because as mentioned,I saw the recipe on Baking Cakes Galore and pretty much followed it to the letter.Two things to note when making this recipe, I´d never realized before how difficult it is to find and buy Malteasers where I live. My husband had to buy me two packets from a vending machine at the university because I couldn´t find them in any of the shops. Plus he could only get white whereas I had wanted to alternate white and milk chocolate Malteasers on top. Also, because it has been so hot lately I was worried about the Malteasers and the buttercream melting so put the cake in the fridge, which probably dried it out a little!On the whole though this cake was delicious and I shall be making it again in the future!

As I said, I hardly changed anything in the recipe although I couldn´t really taste the Horlicks in the cake itself so next time I might add extra Horlicks. Horlicks is a malted milk drink sold in the UK but Ovaltine is also very similar...unfortunately I don´t think there is a similar alternative in Spain! I´d be grateful to any Spanish readers to let me know if there is something similar. You can probably buy it online or in British food shops in Madrid or Barcelona or along the coast!!The recipe also states two 37g bags of Malteasers, I only used one of the bags as often I tend to think that less is more!
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