In Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course episode 20, Gordon’s cookery course comes to a close, as he teaches us how to cook amazing food for special occasions. Recipes include a flavoursome papaya salad, a simple but celebratory chopped salad and a spectacular millefeuille.
GREEN PAPAYA SALAD
This is a great salad to serve at a party. It is delicious and robust enough to last the whole evening without wilting. The secret is in the sour, tangy paste, which is a staple of Thai cooking and adds the salty depth of flavor you’ll find in so many of their dishes. I’m using super-hot bird’s eye chiles here, so do be careful. The sugar will soften the blow of the heat, but won’t hide it. If serving fewer numbers, the ingredients below can easily be halved.
1. Using a large mortar and pestle, grind the dried shrimp with a pinch of salt until it’s broken into small pieces. Add the garlic, chiles, sugar, tamarind paste, and fish sauce and grind until the mixture has a paste-like consistency. Stir in the lime juice to loosen.
2. Mix the papaya, shallots, carrots, cilantro, and basil together in a bowl.
3. Toast the chopped peanuts, rolling them around in a dry pan with a pinch of salt for 2–3 minutes until golden. This will make the nuts sweeter and more intensely flavored. (Don’t chop them too small or they will burn.)
4. Add 6 tablespoons of the shrimp paste to the salad and toss well. Taste and add a little more of the paste if needed. Garnish the salad with the peanuts and serve.
HOW TO PREPARE GREEN PAPAYA
5. Green papaya doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it has a unique flavor. The texture is very strong and durable, like a palm heart, so it takes the dressing but doesn’t wilt. To peel it, stand it up and cut down around the sides, as if paring an orange.