Bangkok Street Food's Green Papaya Salad


[Photograph: Luk Thys]

At most Thai joints, the papaya salad is rarely one of the more memorable plates. Swimming in a cloyingly sugary dressing or wilted beyond recognition, these sub-par salads do nothing to showcase the vibrancy of a truly exemplary Green Papaya Salad. To experience the salad the way it's meant to be enjoyed, we turn to Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse, the Thai food-loving co-authors of Bangkok Street Food.

This recipe from Bangkok Street Food comes from years of on-the-street research—that is, loads of spicy-fresh papaya salads made streetside, pounded with a mortar and pestle for optimal enjoyment. Aside from the papaya and a really fabulous dressing of chiles, garlic, and fish sauce, this salad calls for a few other veggies: long beans and Thai eggplant. Finished off with a handful of roasted peanuts and chewy dried shrimp, this papaya salad is tasty on so many levels—crisp, hot, sweet, crunchy, and fishy in the best possible way.

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As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 'Bangkok Street Food' to give away.