Bamboo Plantation Garden Center

Spicy Papaya Salad
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Spicy Papaya Salad



May 10, 2011

This dish became my go-to dish on a hot day. It is filling and refreshing, and although many of the ingredients are hard to come by in the States, there are easy substitutes. This recipe is an adaption from the Thai Kitchen Cookery cookbook from the class I took.


Spicy Papaya Salad


Eve Turow for NPR


Makes 1 to 2 servings

2 cups green papaya or an even mix of green apple, cucumber and carrot, peeled and grated

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 to 4 small chilies, known as "Thai chilies" or "bird chilies"*

1/2 tablespoon coconut, palm or brown sugar

1 cup Chinese long beans or green beans cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 small tomatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce*

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts, chopped

*Available at Asian grocery stores or in the international aisle in supermarkets.

Peel and grate the green papaya (or green apple, carrot and cucumber, 2/3 cup each) into thin strips. (Use a food processor if necessary.)

Peel garlic and place in mortar. (If you do not have a pestle and mortar, you can create a makeshift pestle and mortar by covering a stone with plastic wrap and using a granite or wood bowl as the mortar. If you cannot find a stone, use the back of a large spoon). Add chilies and pound with pestle, then add the sugar and beans, again pounding with the pestle, careful not to get chilies in your eyes. Add the tomatoes and gently squish to combine. Then, add the papaya or apple-cucumber-carrot mix. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and peanuts, and toss to combine. Serve alone or with sticky rice.

Bamboo shoots will emerge from the ground for a few inches and usually pause for about a week before continuing to shoot skyward. They are covered by a hard protective sheath at each node which is deciduous and falls away once the shoot fully extends outward. The sheath has several functions, one of which is to protect the new shoot as it extends its internodes. At this stage the new shoots have a high water content and are very soft. The diameter of the shoot at its base is the diameter that the new culm (cane) will have when fully mature and throughout its life. New shoots extend upward by extending its internodes similar to the way a telescoping antenna will extend by pulling on it. They are fully extended and hardened off in apx 6 weeks from emerging from the ground.