The explosion of flavours and unforgettable textural contrasts makes this refreshing Thai salad one of the great gastronomic pleasures when visiting the Asian nation. Make it for a light lunch or dinner side dish. Often, the heat-loving Thai will add a handful of chili peppers. But if you’re not after revenge, it’s best to only use one or two for more sensitive palates.
Green papaya is just the unripe fruit, so its flesh has a cabbagelike texture when grated. Most Asian markets stock it, but if unavailable, green mango is a good substitute. An authentic recipe calls for a large mortar and pestle to mash everything, but it’s very much possible to make a great tasting dish without one.
The salad stays crisp in the fridge for a couple of days, but add the peanuts only when serving so they stay crunchy.
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 to 2 chopped Thai or serrano chili peppers, depending on heat tolerance
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut palm sugar or honey
8 to 10 snake (long) beans, cut into 2 in (5 cm) lengths (or substitute green beans)
1 green papaya, peeled and shredded with serrated vegetable peeler, mandoline, box grater, or food processor with grating attachment
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried shrimp (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
6 Napa cabbage leaves, torn
Pound garlic and chili pepper in large mortar and pestle until crushed. Add lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar or honey; stir until all the sugar is dissolved. If not using a mortar, process the ingredients together in food processor or spice grinder. You can also use the flat side of chef’s knife to make garlic-chili paste and then mix with the other ingredients in small bowl.
Add beans, green papaya, tomatoes, and shrimp to mortar, and pound gently just to bruise and soften the contents. Make sure to flip the contents as you pound. If not using a mortar, lightly crush the beans with the flat end of a chef’s knife or rolling pin, and add to large bowl with papaya and dried shrimp. Using your hands, massage ingredients to soften and then stir in fish sauce mixture.
Add peanuts and mix well. Serve with cabbage leaves.
Each serving contains: 165 calories; 7 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g total carbohydrates (12 g sugars, 10 g fibre); 583 mg sodium
source: "Stir-Up Delicious Thai Food", alive #364, February 2013
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.
Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote , is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal. Sustainability status Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch. Prep party Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.