Salad dressing can be a daunting task for some of us, but follow some basic guidelines and you can make any dressing. When making vinaigrette the base is a combination of oil and acid, which can be in the form of lemon or lime juice or vinegar.
The general rule is 1 part acid to 3 parts oil; you can use all oils from mild nut oil to a pungent extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes you may want the acid to cut through a bit more so reduce the oil and increase the acid, try 1 part acid to 2 parts oil. From there you can season the dressing to suit the salad you are making - adding mustard, sugar or honey, herbs and of course season it with salt and pepper.
This particular dressing, pictured below is a Thai style that actually doesn’t use any oil but has quite a high proportion of sugar to balance the acidity from the lime juice, it has heat from the sweet chilli and ginger sauce and fresh chilli and the saltiness comes from the fish sauce.
Green papaya salad with spicy lime dressing
This beautiful fresh salad has a wonderful zingy dressing that combines hot sour, salty and sweet flavours. Make a meal of this salad by adding grilled green prawns.
• vegetable oil, for frying
• 3 purple shallots, finely sliced
• ½ green papaya, shredded
• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
• ½ cup coriander leaves
• ½ cup mint leaves
• ½ cup roasted peanuts
• 1 quantity Spicy lime dressing
1. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallot until golden brown, drain on paper towel and set aside to cool.
2. Arrange the papaya and carrot on a serving plate and top with the herbs, sprinkle over the fried shallots and peanuts.
3. Just before serving drizzle over the dressing. Serve immediately.
Spicy lime dressing
Makes ¾ cup
• ⅓ cup lime juice
• ⅓ cup Sweet chilli and ginger sauce
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
• 1 small Thai chilli finely sliced
1. Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Use as required. This dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.