Papaya salad is to Asia what spag bol is to the West: adored, loved, eaten at every opportunity and in countless variations - each to his own. Here’s one glorious variation.
Toast the chickpea flour in a hot, dry frying pan until nutty brown all over - keep shaking the pan so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Heat the oil with the shallots and slow-fry until the shallots start to become crisp. Chuck in the garlic, fry for a touch longer, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Toss the flour and the onion and garlic oil with the beancurd and papaya, then toss in all the remaining ingredients and work well together. Give it a taste, then add more of whatever you may feel it yearns. Hot, salty, sour, sweet and fragrant it should be - with crunch and slither.
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.