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Dining Tip: Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

A light, bright dish that pairs well with Riesling

Posted: April 29, 2013

For the salad:
• 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)

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

For the salad:
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:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well to fully incorporate.

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