Califonia Bountiful

Green papaya salad with raisins, lime and chile-garlic sauce

Alexander Ong
Betelnut Pejiu Wu, San Francisco

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2 tbsp. palm sugar (see note)
2 tbsp. boiling water
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic

6 oz. green papaya, peeled, seeded and shredded
1 orange segment
3 fresh mint, 8 cilantro and 4 Thai basil leaves, minced
2 tbsp. natural raisins, plumped in warm water
2 tbsp. golden raisins, plumped in warm water
1/2 Thai chile, minced

2 tsp. chopped roasted peanuts
1 tsp. fried shallots (recipe follows)


For dressing: Combine palm sugar and boiling water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Add lime juice, fish sauce and garlic; stir together and chill well.

For salad: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; drizzle with dressing and toss together until well mixed. Divide and plate. Garnish with roasted peanuts and fried shallots.

For fried shallots: Peel and thinly slice shallots to measure 1 cup. Rinse in cold water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat 5 cups canola oil to 275 degrees. Drain shallots and pat dry with paper towels. Fry until light golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove fried shallots from oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use leftovers for topping steamed rice, noodles, salads—even sandwiches. Reserve oil for stir-fries and omelets.

Note: Palm sugar, also known as jaggery, is available in East Indian food markets and other specialty stores. You may use pure maple syrup to taste in place of the sugar and water.

Serves 4

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