• Soft-shell crab stir-fry with green papaya salad (The Chefs' Line Series 2)Source: The Chefs' Line Series 2

Is there anything more classically Thai than a papaya salad? This winning dish nails the balance factor perfectly. The savoury, sweet, complex & spicy is a great representation of what Long Chim is all about and the crab roe adds a nice richness as well. The Chefs' Line  






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)


  • Oil, for deep-frying
  • 6 whole soft shell crabs, gills removed, cleaned
  • 3 tsp prawn oil
  • 3 tsp pork lard
  • 1 tsp pureed crab roe
  • 2 g ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp pineapple vinegar
  • 1 g sugar
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 g galangal powder
  • 5 g chopped coriander
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Chilli paste

  • 2 coriander roots 
  • 2 g sea salt
  • 1 g black peppercorns
  • 1 chilli scud
  • 1 long red chillies
  • 20 g new garlic, peeled

Papaya salad

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 long scuds, finely chopped 
  • 4-5 cherry or small heirloom tomatoes, nicked
  • 1 tbsp dried prawns, soaked and drained
  • 1 slice of lime
  • 1 heaped tbsp coarsely ground roasted peanuts
  • 1 large bunch snake beans, cut into 4 cm lengths
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded green papaya
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 - 3 tbsp tamarind water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • large pinch roasted chilli powder 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the chilli paste, pound all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms.

For the green papaya salad, place the garlic, salt and chillies in a mortar and using the pestle, pound to make a paste. Add the tomatoes and crush with the pestle along with the dried prawns, lime slice, peanuts and snake beans. Mash rather well. Add the green papaya and bruise – do not overwork. Season with palm sugar, lime juice, tamarind water, fish sauce and chilli powder – initially only use about two-thirds of each. Adding more as needed to hone and finish the seasoning. It should taste sweet and sour, hot then salty. Set aside.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok over high heat. Deep-fry the crab until golden and crisp. Drain well and remove the oil from the wok.  Return the wok to high heat with the prawn oil and lard. Add the chilli paste and crab roe and stir-fry or a few minutes or until fragrant. Season with the vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, salt, black pepper and galangal powder.  Add the deep-fried crabs and toss to coat well.

Serve garnished with the chopped coriander and a sprinkle of black pepper with the green papaya salad on the side.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!