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vegetarian-papaya-salad

Ingredients
2 Thai bird’s-eye chilies, seeded and each cut in 3 segments
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups unripe green papaya, peeled, seeded and julienned in strips, about 2-3 inches long
½ cup snake or regular green beans, stem ends trimmed and cut in 1½-inch long segments
½ cup carrots, julienned
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped for garnish
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
For the Sauce:

½ tablespoon tamarind concentrate mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water
¼ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
¼ cup vegan fish sauce, to taste
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (not palm sugar), melted with 1 tablespoon warm water
PREPARATION

Prepare your vegan fish sauce using the recipe here (halve the vegan fish sauce recipe). Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Prepare two batches if you have a standard mortar and pestle. Pound garlic and chiles together in a mortar and pestle (See Notes) until they form a smooth paste. Add the beans and pound well to bruise. Follow with the green papaya and carrot. Stir well with a big spoon and pound to bruise the vegetables so that they absorb the heat and flavor of the chiles and garlic.

Add the sauce and continue to pound a bit more, tossing. Add tomatoes, stir and lightly pound to slightly bruise them. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight to let the flavors combine well.

After refrigeration, sprinkle the peanuts, cilantro and Thai basil leaves over the top and serve.

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