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.