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During Patrick’s recent trip to South Africa, he encouraged us to eat at restaurants where the native people are slim and healthy. We were lucky enough to share a meal at a lovely Thai Restaurant along the way and tried his favorite –  refreshing green papaya salad. It’s popular in most areas of Thailand and when you taste it, you’ll know why. The slightly tart flavour of the green papaya combines well with the spice of red chilli pepper and the saltiness of shrimp paste and fish sauce.

The papaya salad could be used as part of your low GL diet and it goes well with grilled seafood such as king prawns or grilled salmon steak –  it will really impress your guests at your next summer fish braai! Here are the ingredients: (serves 4 as side dish)

1 small green papaya (the papaya should be firm and the flesh white to light orange) shredded
½ cup of raw peanuts
1-2 cups bean sprouts
3 spring onions, sliced into long matchstick-like pieces
1 handful of fresh coriander
6 fresh green beans
A tiny squeeze of honey or alternatively a sprinkle of xylitol for that slight sweet taste


2tbs olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 clove of garlic
½ cup thai basil leaf
2tbsp fish sauce or for vegetarians reduced salt soya sauce
3tbsp lime juice
1 red chilli, minced (seeds removed if you prefer a milder salad)
½ tsb shrimp paste or for vegetarians golden mountain sauce or ½ tbsp soy sauce

Gently mix the ingredients of the dressing together in a mortar and pestle and add it to the rest of the salad.

Bon appetite! Or as the Thais would say: kŏr hâi jà-rern aa-hăan!