After one bite of this spicy papaya salad, Paris Hilton would definitely say, ‘That’s hot!’
Today’s healthy recipe uses chili peppers to kick this nutrient rich dish into high gear. Known as a “nutritional masterpiece,” papayas are rich in vitamin C, folate, and potassium and also aid digestion. They are also good sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, the eye-saving carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Peanuts are a protein powerhouse and also provide 13 different vitamins (including A, the B group, C and E) along with 26 essential trace minerals, including calcium and iron.
So, pump up the volume with a Red Hot Chili Peppers tune and enjoy the papaya party in your mouth!
4-5 small hot red chili peppers
2 small or 1 large garlic bulb
Tamarind paste (inexpensive and available in small can or jar at most Asian or Thai markets, and at Asian/Oriental food sections of some supermarkets)
Thai-style fish sauce (also inexpensive and available in bottles at most Asian or Thai markets and at Asian/Oriental food sections of some supermarkets)
2 small or medium ripe firm tomatoes
A handful (1/4 – 1/3 cup) cocktail-style shelled peanuts, salted or not to taste
1 fresh lime
1 medium-sized green papaya or prepared julienned green papaya from a Thai or Asian market
A few fresh French-cut long garden beans, and/or ½ a sliced carrot (for garnish)
Chop chilis fine or pulverize with mortar and pestle. Add finely chopped garlic or pulverize with chili peppers in mortar and pestle. Add 1 tablespoon tamarind paste to mixture; blend. Add 1 tablespoon Thai-style fish sauce to mixture; blend. Squeeze juice of 1 fresh lime into mixture; blend. Peel and julienne the green papaya; the slivers should be crisp and not limp. Chop tomatoes medium (peel first if preferred); lightly mix in bowl with julienned papaya.
Spoon sauce/spice mixture into bowl with papaya and tomatoes; gently blend mixture until uniform. Serve alone or on lettuce garnish on individual plates. Sprinkle whole or chopped cocktail peanuts as garnish on top. Add washed uncooked beans and/or sliced carrots as garnish.