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Yum
Models eat salads. Chrissy Teigen channels her Thai roots and takes it a step further.

News flash: Model Chrissy Teigen’s brand-new cookbook, Cravings, is a sriracha-stained page-turner for the ages. Flip through the Sports Illustrated swimsuit sensation’s sweet and savory tome, coauthored with Food Republic contributor Adeena Sussman, and think for the umpteenth time that husband John Legend is one lucky guy. 

This has ruined me for ALL. OTHER. PAPAYA SALADS. Mom can cook evvvvverything well, but man, she is a papaya salad ninja. Once requested, it’s on the table in three minutes and never fails to be perfect. When trying out a new Thai restaurant, I always order two things first: tom yum soup and papaya salad. If their tom yum or papaya salad sucks, the chances of anything else being good are slim to none. It’s a rule that’s always held true for me.

Made at least five times a week in my household (did you know an Asian mom lives with us? It’s awesome), I live on this before shoots. We add WAY more chile, to the point where my face has a stroke and I can’t blink one eye or symmetrically smile, but I finish the entire plate. Serve it with steamed rice and roasted chicken or pork rinds. Seriously. They cut the heat, but even if they didn’t, they’re pork rinds, and pork rinds are awesome.

(Oh, and by the way, unless you have a Thai Town lying around, green papaya can be tricky to find, but fear not — this is equally good with green beans or even shredded cucumber.)

The Thai Hotness: Thai bird chilies used to be super-hard to find, but now you can buy them at Asian markets and even regular supermarkets. They are hot as hell. If you can’t find them, use serrano chilies.

Reprinted with permission from Cravings