Green Papaya Salad

From January 28, 2007: I have wanted to make this salad for years, but haven’t been able to find green papaya.  Finally, yesterday, I visited a new Asian market that opened up in Spotsylvania, VA and not only did they have green papaya, it was already shredded.  Woo-hoo!  This salad was super easy to make.  I omitted an ingredient….dried shrimp (I can’t take the intense flavor).  Other Green Papaya Salad recipes I found included cherry tomatoes and/or green beans and I think that is more authentic.  I’ve also been told that the green papaya should be pounded in the mortar so that it takes on more flavors from the dressing ingredients. My mortar is not that big, so maybe I’ll leave this salad to the professionals.

Green Papaya Salad

1 small unripe green papaya, peeled and thinly shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly shredded
salt and pepper
lettuce leaves
crushed peanuts

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 small red or green chiles, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. sugar
3 T. lime juice
2 T. fish auce

Mix the shredded papaya and carrot with salt and pepper.  Arrange on a bed of lettuce leaves on a serving dish and pile the papaya and carrot on top.  For the dressing, using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic, shallot, chiles, and sugar to a fine paste.  Blend with the lime juice and the fish sauce to make the dressing.

Garnish the salad with the crushed peanuts and pour the dressing over it.  Toss the salad as soon as you are ready to serve.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Adapted from a recipe in The Book of Vietnamese Cooking by Deh-Ta Hsiung (Salamander Books Ltd., 1997).

One Comment on “Green Papaya Salad”

  1. #1 28 January 2007 – 22:59

    there’s a pickled variety called “achara” (or atsara). Some people liken it to kimchi, though achara is less spicy and sweeter — the good ones have that kick from vinegar. It is eaten with fried or grilled fish or meat.

    #2 22 April 2007 – 00:08

    you’re supposed to grind the garlic and peppers in with the shrimp paste, then add the papaya and cherry tomatoes, sugar, lime, and fish sauce. pound all together til papaya is wilted and flavors are well mixed into papaya. serve with raw cabbage and pork skins. this way, your salad won’t taste so “blah” and as if the ingredients don’t “mesh” 🙂 enjoy!

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