Serves 4 to 6
1 fresh Thai or serrano chili, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced
1 Tablespoon palm sugar, honey or brown sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 Tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)
2 small green papayas
2 Asian cucumbers
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup loosely packed mint, torn
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely
(2 Tablespoons dried shrimp, optional)
Combine the chili, garlic, green onion, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice in a small bowl. Crush with the back of a spoon to let flavors infuse. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
Cut papayas in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Save some seeds for garnish. Peel the papayas. Slice the flesh thin or julienne. Peel the cucumber only if the skin is thick. Slice thin or julienne. Combine the papaya and cucumber and the dressing in a large bowl.
Tear the basil and mint leaves into small pieces and add to the bowl. Toss with a fork to mix well. Add the peanuts and dried shrimp (if using) on top and serve, at room temperature or chilled.