Five of New Zealand's top chefs share their favourite recipes to wow family and friends this summer.

From: Chef James Balakrishnan, owner Mulan Restaurant (Birkenhead) and Carram Cafe (Devonport)

Dish: Papaya and Prawn summer salad

"This dish is something my mother-in-law used to make on weekends, and the South East Asian flavours are a reminder of Malaysia, where I come from. It brings back many happy memories for me, and I hope that it can create many happy memories for other Kiwis too. It is simple to make yet healthy and flavoursome, and is fresh and really good for summer. Besides the papaya, that comes from Fiji, the other ingredients that go into the dish like mung beans and coriander are grown locally and easily available."


Grilled Papaya Salad ingredients

1 green papaya (shredded and pickled overnight)
1 handful fresh coriander leaves
1 handful fresh mint leaves
250 grams fresh mung beans
3 baby tomatoes (cut in half)
200g cucumber (cut in small batons)
1 tsp ginger flower (thinly slice) optional
Crushed roasted peanuts ( sprinkle on the top)
Chilli dressing
Flaky sea salt to taste
6 grilled prawns


All ingredients in bowl, toss slowly and mix well with dressing. Mix salad on the plate, sprinkle with crushed peanut and grilled prawn.

Pickling liquid (for papaya salad)

500g caster sugar
400g vinegar
1 tbsp coriander seeds
4 cloves
1tbsp black peppercorns


Put all ingredients into a thick-based pot, bring to simmer till the sugar dissolves. Cool down before use.


Prawn Salad ingredients

500g prawn cutlets
2 lemongrass
20g turmeric roots
15g ginger
15g garlic
50g shallots
40g fresh coriander roots (washed)


All ingredients except the prawns in mixer, blend with oil till a smooth paste. Marinate overnight.

Chilli dressing

250ml vinegar
150g sugar
50g garlic clove


Bring to boil, dissolve sugar and cool down. Blend and sieve.