Smoked Albacore Tuna and Green Papaya Salad

Recipe courtesy of El Gastronomo Vagabundo
Show: Eat St. Episode: Planet Food
TOTAL TIME: 55 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 5 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 2 pinches palm sugar
  • Fish sauce
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 green unripe papaya, grated and bruised with mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh Vietnamese mint leaves, torn
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 14 ounces applewood cold-smoked albacore tuna, cleaned of sinew and finely sliced
  • Chili Tamarind Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 kaffir lime, cut into 4 wedges, plus fresh lime leaves, julienned, for garnish
  • Peanuts, roasted and crushed, for serving
  • Shallots, fried, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, for frying
  • 4 long Thai red chiles, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 4 red shallots, peeled and sliced
  • One 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup tamarind water
  • Palm sugar
  • 4 cilantro roots
  • Fish sauce
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For the green papaya salad: Heat 2 tablespoons water with the palm sugar in a stainless steel pot over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat, and gradually stir in fish sauce, to taste. The flavor should be balanced between sweet and salty. Let cool completely.

Toss together the tomatoes, papaya, Thai basil, cilantro and mint leaves in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and lime juice, tossing gently to coat.

Arrange the tuna slices in the center of 4 plates. Gently top with green papaya salad, creating a pyramid on top of the tuna.

Squeeze 3 nickel-size dots of Chili Tamarind Sauce around the plated tuna. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves, roasted crushed peanuts and fried shallots. Place 1 lime wedge on each plate and serve immediately.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Heat the oil in a stainless steel pot over high heat. Add the chiles, garlic, shallots and ginger and saute until just starting to color. Pour in the tamarind water and 1 pinch of palm sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low, and stir together until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender along with the cilantro roots, puree until fine, and then pour into a bowl. Gradually stir in fish sauce, to taste. The flavor should be a balance of sweet, sour and salty. Yield: 4 servings.



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