Thai one on…

Posted in Recipes by Sarah on June 25, 2010

Thai Spring Rolls!

The other evening I had the opportunity to attend a cooking class as part of a networking event.  We made Thai food and I got to meet a number of other women professionals in my field.  I loved it!

We made a full Thai meal (from pork satay and spring rolls to beef curry and coconut cake) AND we made everything from scratch – even the peanut sauce!  Now, we had about 20 women making the various dishes and many hands make light work, but I’m hanging on to these recipes for an Asian-themed evening.  My favorite dish was the Green Papaya Salad, which is a refreshing and cool healthy treat.  The recipe is below, but if you’re interested, all of the recipes are available here:

Many of the recipes call for a mortar & pestle but a food processor is a good substitute (the chefs cautioned that the texture would not be quite the same, but I suspect their palates are slightly more discerning!).  Also, many of the recipes call for special Asian ingredients.  Most of these ingredients can be found in the Asian food aisle of any grocery store but, if you can’t find them there, you may have to trek to your local Asian market.

This recipe is courtesy of the company that hosted the event:  Hands On Gourmet!

Green Papaya Salad


For the Dressing
1 cup tamarind paste
1 cup water
4 tbsp palm sugar (about two discs), melted in 2 tbsps water to make a thick syrup
5 thai chiles, rough chopped
15 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped

4 tablespoons dried shrimp
Juice of 5 limes
¾ cup fish sauce

For the Salad
8 cups green papaya, julienned

2 carrots, peeled and julienned
4 cups long beans, cut in 1” pieces
½ bunch thai basil, roughly shredded

Green Papaya Salad... Yum!

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

For Garnish
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
½ bunch cilantro leaves

Special Equipment
Large mortar and pestle
Mandoline (or box grater or food processor shredding attachment)
Chinois or fine mesh strainer
Mixing bowls
Citrus juicer


For the Dressing
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve your tamarind paste and water until it breaks down and becomes a paste, about 10 minutes. Pass the tamarind mixture through a chinois or fine mesh strainer and reserve ½ cup of the liquid. In a small sauce pot, melt the palm sugar with the 2 tablespoons water over medium heat until a syrup is formed and reserve. In a large clay mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, chilies and dried shrimp together until it forms a paste and is homogenous. Transfer this paste to a medium bowl and add the tamarind syrup, palm sugar syrup, lime juice and fish sauce. Mix well and reserve in the large bowl.

For the Salad
Julienne the green papaya and carrot with either a mandoline, a box grater, or the shredding attachment on a food processor. Chop the long bean into bite sized pieces. By hand, tear off a few thai basil leaves. Add these four ingredients to a large stainless bowl and pour some dressing over them. Using the pestle, bruise lightly to meld the flavors then add more dressing to taste. Now toss in the Cherry tomatoes and check the seasoning. Adjust with more dressing or one of the dressings components. It is almost ready to serve. Before serving, garnish with cilantro leaves and crushed peanuts.


One Response

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  1. molly said, on June 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    great post! I’m glad you enjoyed your party.

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