Papaya was once named “the fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus for its soft, juicy and velvety texture which likely was the fruit regularly enjoyed when ripened. Funnily enough, the Asian Papaya Salads which are well-known in their own distinctive styles – super-spicy sweet and sour Thai papaya salad or Somtum, salty and sweet Vietnamese papaya salad, curry-like and creamy Burmese Papaya Salad – are all made of the unripened green papaya!
- First, slowly fry the garlic in the oil on a low heat for 4-5 minutes or until they are golden, then set aside.
- Then pad dry the shallot, heat the oil to a medium heat, and fry the shallot until crispy. Scoop out the shallot, then add the ginger and fry for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, fry for another minute, then add back the shallot. Take it off the heat and set aside.
- Heat the oil for the chilli to a medium heat, add the dried chilli flakes, fry for a minute, then set aside.
- Peel the green papaya, cut half lengthwise, then julienne-slice the papaya lengthwise with a mandolin. Transfer the sliced papaya into a bowl of water, then wash and pad dry.
- In a bowl, mix the toasted Besan powder, tamarind juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, warm water, garlic and oil, shallot and oil, chilli and oil, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the papaya, potatoes, bean sprouts and vermicelli, toss them well and place on a plate. Top with peanuts and chopped greens.