Spicy peanut salad
Photo by Tam West
This is a variation of the Thai green papaya salad called som tum, using more commonly available ingredients. I often blanch green beans to make them a little softer to bite into but slicing them lengthwise achieves the same result and makes them a lot like papaya strips. Cabbage and carrot are natural partners and it makes a big difference how you prepare them. Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible to bring out the juiciness, but grate the carrot on a coarse grater so it doesn’t get too wet. Golden kiwifruit has a tropical character and is great at this time of year for tangy sweetness. Thai basil with its slight aniseed aroma is great if you can find it but normal basil is fine instead. There’s no oil in the dressing on this salad, roasted peanuts do that job nicely and add a good dose of protein as well. I always look for peanuts in foil bags as they seem to stay fresher. Add them just before serving to keep that salty crunch alive.
|½||Red capsicum, sliced thinly|
|1 cup||Cabbage, shedded|
|1||Spring onion, sliced into strips|
|12||Green beans, sliced lengthways|
|1 cup||Lettuce, sliced|
|1½ Tbsp||Lime juice|
|1 handful||Coriander, chopped|
|6||Basil leaves, chopped|
|1 sprig||Mint, chopped|
|2||Green chillies, finely chopped|
|1||Golden kiwifruit, peeled and sliced|
|½ cup||Roasted peanuts, roughly crushed|
- Add capsicum, carrot, cabbage, spring onion, beans and lettuce to a big bowl and use hands to mix well. Sprinkle with salt, then splash lime juice on top. Toss to mix in then add herbs, green chilli and golden kiwifruit.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with crushed peanuts and mix in lightly.