Dinner tonight! Green papaya salad with shrimp
Perfect for the summer season, this Vietnamese salad combines fresh papaya or mango tossed with a bright dressing of lime juice, garlic, sugar and chopped Thai chile. Top the salad with fresh grilled shrimp, peanuts and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. The whole dish comes together in less than 45 minutes.
For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
Photo credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Time: 40 minutes
Note: Adapted from "The Little Saigon Cookbook" by Ann Le. You can prepare this salad up to an hour before serving, but no longer or the herbs will wilt. Green papayas and Thai basil are available at Asian markets. For 3 cups julienned green papaya, use a portion of 1 small green papaya (about 2 pounds); save the remainder for another use.
1/3 pound large shrimp, cleaned, deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Juice of 1 small lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2½ tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc nam)
1/2 fresh Thai bird chile, finely chopped (1/4 teaspoon chopped)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
3 cups julienned green papaya
1/4 cup chopped fresh Vietnamese coriander leaves, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves, divided
3 tablespoons finely chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1. Heat a grill pan or grill. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Grill until opaque in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill, cool and slice in half lengthwise.
2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, garlic, sugar, fish sauce and chopped chile. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
3. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat the oil. Fry the minced shallots until golden brown. Drain and add to the fish sauce mixture.
4. Julienne the papaya or mangoes into thin, matchstick strips 2 inches long until you have 3 cups. Place in a large serving bowl or platter. Pour the dressing all over the strips, evenly coating them. Toss with 2 tablespoons coriander and 2 tablespoons Thai basil.
5. Top the dressed papaya with cooked shrimp and garnish with the peanuts, the remaining 2 tablespoons coriander and the remaining 2 tablespoons basil.
Each serving: 214 calories; 9 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 55 mg. cholesterol; 1,083 mg. sodium.