Sweet juicy papaya, crisp leaves and aromatic herbs are a sensational combination in this Thai-inspired salad. Thai fragrant rice – jasmine rice simmered in stock and scented with lime leaves – is the perfect complement. If you can't get fresh lime leaves easily, they are available in jars at some supermarkets.
For a Thai red curry and orange dressing, mix together 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar, 1 tsp Thai red curry paste, ½ tsp grated orange zest and 3 tbsp orange juice. * Make a Thai lamb salad. Use lean lamb leg steaks in place of the beef, and the Thai red curry and orange dressing (see left). Before cooking the lamb, put 2 quartered and seeded red peppers on the grill pan, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes or until blackened; cool, then skin and chop. In place of the papaya salad, toss the peppers with 400 g (14 oz) halved cherry tomatoes, 100 g (3½ oz) bean sprouts and 2 thinly sliced courgettes.
* Beef is an excellent source of zinc and a useful source of iron. Iron from red meat is far more easily absorbed by the body than iron from vegetable sources. Choose lean varieties. * Papaya is a useful source of vitamin A (from the beta-carotene it provides), which is needed for good vision. This tropical fruit plays a vital role in preventing blindness in many parts of the world where those foods that provide most vitamin A in the UK (full-fat milk, cheese, butter, egg yolks) are not part of the average diet. Papaya also provides good amounts of vitamin C and useful amounts of the micromineral magnesium.
Excellent source of niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc. Good source of iron. Useful source of folate, potassium, selenium, vitamin A.