The classic Vietnamese side dish, with suggestions on dressing it up forthe main course.

Ingredients:

1 medium, green papaya.

½ small carrot

1 red chili (optional).

Fresh Thai Basil.

Fresh mint leaves.

Roasted peanuts.

Crispy deep fried shallots.

Roasted sesame seeds.

Traditionally papaya salad is served as a starter or side dish to cleanse the pallet, but this fragrant, light salad can also be served as a main dish accompanied by healthily grilled chicken or prawns.

Method:

Peel, then grate the papaya and carrot into long strips using a medium sized vegetable grater.

Prepare the dipping sauce and drizzle generously; adding the fresh mint, Thai basil and chili. Stir well and garnish with a sprinkling of roasted peanuts and crispy fried shallots.

For a deeper flavour marinade the papaya, carrot and herbs in the fridge for an hour before garnishing.