Saturday 9 April 2011

Green Papaya Salad with Char-grilled Beef

I am off to my cousin's 18th birthday party tonight but I thought that I would just get a quick post in before I do.

I have found myself sitting around doing quite a bit of contemplating over the past couple of days. Some times that is not a good thing, other times it is great to consider all the options. My current contemplations have been of the not good kind. The kind where you doubt the decisions you are making, wondering what the hell you are doing and why you are doing it. Oh and the all time most useless contemplation of all...what is going on in someone else's head....sigh. It is not like you will ever be able to answer that last one with any sort of accuracy so why even start. I just can't seem to help it sometimes though. All I can do is try not to let the negativity get the better of me and just go with the flow.

There are a few recipes in Sydney Food that I was wondering if I would ever get the chance to make. There are a couple of seafood dishes that I am not sure of. I probably would be able to get everything but I just don't know what the quality of the ingredients will be like. I guess I will just have to wait and see, there is still plenty of time since it is only April. This Green Papaya Salad with Char-grilled Beef was one of those recipes that I really didn't think that I would get a chance to make. I had never seen green papaya (or paw paw) here before. I thought that if I did take a trip away somewhere I might be able to do it then, depending on where I was, but I really didn't think I would get it made and was already trying to figure out what sort of substitutions could be made. I was really surprised one day not so long ago when I walked into one of our local fruit and veg shops to find a variety of more unusual ingredients including about 4 green paw paws. There was a nice small one so I quickly changed my plans and grabbed it and then went across the street to my favourite butcher to get a lovely piece of sirloin to use. Oh, it was so worth making. I was so pleased with the result. There was a fabulous combination of flavours and it was so fresh. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as good the next day as leftovers, but I guess you can't have everything. I would definitely make this one again, I just hope that our fruit & veg shop with continue to get these ingredients in. 

Green Papaya Salad with Char-grilled Beef

Serves 2

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar 
  • 3 tbsp lime juice 
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 1/2 c julienned green papaya
  • 1/2 c julienned cucumber 
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced 
  • 1/4 c Thai basil leaves (I used a combination of lemon basil & sweet basil) 
  • 1/4 c mint leaves 
  • 1/4 c coriander leaves (I used parsley) 
  • 2 sirloin steaks 
  • peanut oil 
  • cracked black pepper 
  • Combine garlic, chilli, palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and stir until sugar has dissolved. 
  • Add papaya, cucumber, green onions, basil, mint and coriander and toss to combine. 
  • Oil steaks and season with pepper. 
  • BBQ or grill until done to your liking then rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly. 
  • Divide salad between serving plates and top with slices of beef.


  1. That looks amazing!
    You're making me want to get my Bill Granger books off the shelves!

  2. Thanks Anna, it was really great. It is always pleasing when something so different is so good.

    I would definitely recommend pulling out the Bill books.