Serves 2 quite generously. Delicious with freshly steamed jasmine rice — or sticky rice — to soak up the dressing.
- 1 green mango, peeled and julienned
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 crisp Asian pear, sliced
- a good handful of grapes, seeded if necessary
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- big handful of long beans in 2-in segments
- big handful of roasted peanuts; dried shrimp
- big handful of Thai "globe" eggplants, quartered and soaked 1 hour in salt water, then rinsed (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 6 tiny Thai chiles
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp palm or coconut sugar (substitute dark or light brown sugar — but moderate lime juice in this case)
- 3 limes, sliced vertically around the "core" into seedless quarters (alternately, juice them)
- In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and chilies and then add sugar, fish sauce, and limes (if using juice, add a bit now and a bit as you go along, to avoid splashing the dressing into your face!).
- Pound again.
- Add long beans and pound only to bruise, not to mash; follow with mangoes and tomatoes.
- At this point use one hand to mix with a large spoon while pounding with the other.
- Add fruits, pound and mix.
- Taste for salt-sweet-sour-hot, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Place on a plate and sprinkle with peanuts and shrimp (alternately, pound a few of the shrimp and leave the rest for garnish).