While I adore spring rolls, they are a major pain to make not to mention incredibly time consuming. And with the temperatures here in Pittsburgh having returned to mild “heat wave” levels, I wanted a light and extremely simple side dish to accompany a Thai chicken soup I made. I came across a recipe for Som Tam Esan which is a green papaya salad. Although I’ve seen it on the menu enough times at Thai restaurants, I’ve never ordered it but now seemed as good a time as any to try it.
I like papaya, I just don’t love it. I know I’ve commented before that if you’ve never tried it, it doesn’t have the most awesome of tastes (not to be gross but to me it tastes slightly like vomit-slightly though). However, it is one of those fruits that while ugly on the outside, it’s stunning on the inside (not to mention a completely different shade). But I am always on the lookout for non-lettuce salads so I was open to trying it.
Let’s just say that papaya paired with garlic and chilis not to mention anchovy sauce (okay I substituted with fish sauce which is still made with anchovies), produces the most startling of contrasts. You think you’re eating just fruit but then the spicy “zing” hits you. It’s not a dish I could eat often, however, once in a blue moon, on a hot
summer spring night, it was a pleasant addition.
|(Although it doesn’t look like papaya, I swear it is. Once it was shredded it definitely took on more of an orange hue)|