You may not be able to send Mom on a far-flung culinary vacation for Mother's Day (May 13), but with a small amount of effort, you can create a beautiful meal that transports her to Southeast Asia. Sang Yoon, chef and owner of Lukshon, in Los Angeles, has shared his recipe for Green Papaya Salad, a classic appetizer with Laotian and Thai roots that's spun into an elegant main course with the addition of gently poached shrimp. Serve jasmine or sticky rice alongside for a complete meal.
When shopping for a green papaya, which has become increasingly common in American markets with the rising popularity of Thai flavors and ingredients, Yoon says that the ideal fruit is green-skinned and utterly unripe. "They're small, mostly imported from Thailand, and a very different thing from the gigantic Mexican papayas," he explained. "The texture is very crisp, almost like a Granny Smith apple." To pour, he suggests Riesling, a classic pairing with the often fiery-yet-sweet flavors of Southeast Asia. In addition, "It's a wine that can handle the assertive flavors of fish sauce and lime juice so common to Thai dishes." We've included a list of recently rated Rieslings below.
• 1 cup canola oil, for frying
• 1/2 teaspoon baby dried shrimp
• 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 pound shrimp (31-40), peeled and deveined
• 2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
• 6 ounces cherry tomatoes
• 1 green papaya, peeled and julienned
• 2 to 3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
• 5 ounces Chinese long beans, blanched and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
• 2 ounces roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
• 1 teaspooon finely chopped cilantro leaves
• 1/2 teaspooon finely chopped mint leaves
• 6 ounces Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1. In a small pot, heat the canola oil to 300° F. Gently add the dried baby shrimp to the oil and cook for about 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon or small strainer and allow to drain on paper towels. Gently add the shallots to the hot oil and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon or small strainer and allow to drain on paper towels.
2. Fill a medium pot with water, add the 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the shrimp. Cook at a simmer just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Once the shrimp are chilled, remove from the ice bath and gently pat dry with clean kitchen towels or paper towels.
3. Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl, season lightly with salt, and smash them with the back of a spoon, just enough to break them up. To the bowl, add the drained fried shrimp, poached shrimp, papaya, carrots, long beans, peanuts, cilantro and mint and toss gently to combine. Toss with the vinaigrette, and season with salt if desired. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and top with the crisp shallots. There should be vinaigrette floating in the bottom of the bowl when you serve it, enough to remix the salad while enjoying. Serves 4.
For the Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette:
• 2 ounces Vietnamese fish sauce
• 3 1/2 ounces lime juice
• 1 1/2 ounces light brown sugar
• 2 Thai chile peppers, finely chopped
• 1/2 ounce shrimp paste
• 1/2 ounce light soy sauce
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well to fully incorporate.
Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More wines can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.
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