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Green Papaya Salad and Riesling for Mother's Day

Los Angeles chef Sang Yoon shares a fresh and flavorful recipe, and we suggest Rieslings to pour alongside

Laurie Woolever
Posted: May 4, 2012

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.

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Sang Yoon, Lukshon, Los Angeles, Calif.  

• 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.

 

RECOMMENDED RIESLINGS

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.

CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE-DR. LOOSEN Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica 2010 Score: 90 | $20
Light and appealing for its delicate pear and peach flavors, with hints of mineral and chalk, dancing lightly through the open-weave, off-dry finish. Drink now through 2013. 20,000 cases made.—H.S.

MILBRANDT Riesling Columbia Valley Traditions 2010 Score: 90 | $13
Polished, silky and immensely appealing for its green apple, crme brle and floral flavors, playing out smoothly on the off-dry finish. Drink now through 2013. 5,706 cases made.—H.S.

JOEL GOTT Riesling Columbia Valley 2010 Score: 89 | $13
Light and tangy, nearly dry, with a floral edge to the green apple and peach flavors, lingering nicely. Drink now through 2014. 6,200 cases made.—H.S.

WILLAMETTE VALLEY VINEYARDS Riesling Willamette Valley 2010 Score: 89 | $12
Bright and lively, this is jazzy with pear, peach, citrus and floral flavors, sweet but balanced with bracing acidity. Drink now through 2015. 15,133 cases made.—H.S.

COLUMBIA CREST Riesling Columbia Valley Grand Estates 2010 Score: 88 | $12
Smooth in texture and lightly sweet, with apple sauce and custard flavors, finishing creamy. Drink now. 8,000 cases made.—H.S.

FRISK Riesling Victoria Prickly 2011 Score: 88 | $11
Light and sweet, with juicy lime, guava and pear flavors that persist against lively acidity. This has style and intensity, with a bit of fizz. Drink now. 10,000 cases imported.—H.S.

HOOKED Riesling QbA Nahe 2010 Score: 88 | $10
Crunchy apple and pear flavors show hints of honey cream and savory spice, lending this wine a slightly exotic allure. Rich and spicy on the finish. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.—K.M.

FRITZ HASSELBACH Riesling QbA Rheinhessen Fritz's 2009 Score: 87 | $13
Spicy and supple, with a vein of vibrant minerality that weaves between the ripe peach and baked apple flavors. White raspberry and tropical fruit notes chime in on the finish. Drink now through 2017. 20,000 cases imported.—K.M.

LOOSEN BROS. Riesling QbA Mosel Dr. L 2010 Score: 87 | $12
Direct flavors of peach, apple and glazed citrus are accented by some herbal notes. Hints of smoke chime in on the finish. Drink now through 2013. 100,000 cases imported.—K.M.

RED NEWT CELLARS Riesling Finger Lakes Circle Label 2010 Score: 87 | $12
A plump and forward style, offering green melon and fig notes, with a fresh finish. Drink now. 3,500 cases made.—J.M.

ST.-URBANS-HOF Riesling QbA Mosel Urban 2010 Score: 87 | $11
Crunchy and crisp, with fresh-cut apple, grapefruit and gooseberry flavors. Hints of spice and smoke mark the finish. Drink now through 2014. 30,000 cases made.—K.M.

PIERRE SPARR Riesling Alsace 2010 Score: 86 | $14
Modest and open-knit, with tangy acidity and hints of cantaloupe, white peach and mandarin orange. Licorice-laced finish. Drink now. 9,000 cases made.—A.N.

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