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(Fake) Green Papaya salad

Just for the paper work we had to go back to Oslo, Norway for two weeks this summer. Jet lagged and jet lagged and jet lagged all over again. I hate it. But it was nice to see friends and family again. And you kind of really appreciate your home town when not living there anymore.. The weather was back and forth, as usual – nothing has changed and the inhabitants were still complaining about it, but we got some really nice days. On the bright side, I got to be a tourist in my own home town as my mother dragged me around in her relentlessly walking habit. OMG this city is changing!!

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Some of my most intense restaurant experiences are when I have been served something that I really liked but could not figure out one or more of the ingredients. This was an evening like that.

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Sitting at the roof of Oslo at Bar Vulkan with good friends we got served an asian inspired salad (som tum, btw)The main ingredient of the dish we could not figure out. So we asked the waiter that made us guess. Rutabaga? Turnip? We had no clue. The waiter smiled. I guess he knew we would be surprised. And we were. Green. Immature. Papaya! What? Huh? Delicious as****

The only problem is that I have been unable to get a hold of this fruit both back in Oslo and now here in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you read this blog post and know where to find it, please leave a comment for me, and I will be forever gratefull!

Awaiting for the green papaya to show up I decided to replace it with spaghetti squash, which turned out as really awesome! When raw, the flesh is similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in strands like spaghetti.

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WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1/2 spaghetti squash (or 1 green papaya)
  • 4 red small chillies (more or less according to how hot you like it)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 green beans
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons fishsauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • a handfull of cashew nuts

HOW TO

Bake the spaghetti squash at 375°F for 1 hour. Let it cool a bit, then use a fork to scrap out the spaghetti structured meat. Even though baked, this is still crisp, which really makes this dish.

(Or if you have a green papaya: Use a mandolin and cut the green papaya into thin strips.)

Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Finely chop the garlic and chillies.

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Cut the beans in pieces, in approximately 0.4 inches.

Pour over the fish sauce mixture, taste and adjust the balance between salt and sour and sweet.

Add the spaghetti squash (or papaya strips) and mix. To be topped with a handful of unsalted cashews.

Bye Oslo, I will miss you.

XOX

M

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