Lobster & Green Papaya Salad
It’s worth trying to track down Thai basil for this salad. While genovese (which is most common) basil will work in a pinch, the heartier almost spicy Thai basil leaves add something special. Look for it in Asian supermarkets.
for the herb nuoc cham:
½ cup malt vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 cup roughly chopped scallions
¼ cup basil
¼ cup mint
¾ cup rice bran or canola oil
for the popiah:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup water
2 ½ teaspoons tapioca starch
¼ teaspoon starch
for the salad:
4 cups green papaya (shaved and shredded)
1/3 cup thai basil (torn)
1/4 cup mint (torn)
2 popiah per person
5 ounces poached lobster (small pieces)
To make the herb nuoc cham:
1. place the first 7 ingredients in a high-powered blender and buzz.
2. Add the basil and mint and turn the blender on low. Slowly pour in oil to emulsify. Season with salt.
To make the popiah:
1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with a hook attachment. Place a towel under the front half of the mixer to ensure it doesn’t move, and mix on high for half an hour. Your finished dough will be very elastic. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
2. Have a metal offset spatula and a sheet tray with parchment paper handy. Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Hold the entire dough ball in your hand, so that a palm-sized area is loose in the middle of your grip. You may end up throwing away the first few attempts, but there is plenty of dough for your finished product.
3. In a thin layer, smear dough around the entire bottom of a pan, careful not to get your fingers in the way. You will want to smear in one fluid motion to avoid lumps. Let the dough cook for 1 minute. It will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when it is ready to flip.
4. Use the offset spatula to flip the dough. Cook for 30 seconds on the other side and then remove it to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Continue this process until you have used all the dough.
6. Deep fry just before serving.
To make the salad:
1. toss all ingredients but lobster and popiah with herb nuoc cham.
2. Top with lobster and a side of crispy popiah.
Originally featured in A Dinner Feast with Stephanie Izard