Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

salt and pepper
12 large shrimp, peeled
4 cups peeled, shredded, seeded green papaya
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup roughly chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup trimmed and chopped scallions
1 teaspoon Vietnamese chili-garlic paste, or to taste
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon brown or palm sugar
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts


Salt the shrimp, then grill or broil them, or put them in a saucepan with salted water to cover. Bring water almost to a boil, then turn off heat. Let shrimp sit in water until cool. When cool, slice in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, toss together papaya, sprouts, herbs and scallions. Whisk together chili-garlic paste, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, along with a little salt and a lot of pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss dressing with papaya-herb mixture, then top with shrimp and peanuts. Toss again at table, and serve.