Lisa had her first green papaya salad at Thoa in Seattle and absolutely loved it; after trying it myself, I decided that this was something we had to make at home. The recipe itself, which I adapted from a few I spotted online, as well as what I remember of the restaurant version, came together really quickly. The biggest adventure was actually in procuring this little gadget — I wandered all over the International District/Chinatown looking for it and finally found it in a little grocery next to the Tamarind Tree. Four bucks, and the papaya was shredded perfectly. Highly recommended if you’re going to make this dish.
I love how the papaya looks like noodles — so different that what I was expecting!
I know, green papaya seems nothing like its ripe counterpart.
This dish just tastes so summery and fresh…
I like that dishes like this are so easy to tailor to what you have on hand — you can pretty much make it however you want.
Well, now that you went through all the effort of finding that little papaya shredder, we’ll definitely have to have this more often.
Heck yes! Next time I’m thinking I’ll do the beef jerky version, which apparently pretty popular.
Hmmm… maybe I’ll have some shrimp ready as a backup… you enjoy, though!
Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
1 medium-sized green papaya
1 large carrot
2 serrano, thai bird, or other hot peppers
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1/3-1/2 lb. shrimp
peanuts, toasted and chopped
basil, cut into ribbons
Peel the green papaya, then shred or julienne into thin strips and set aside in a large serving bowl. Peel the carrot, and shred or julienne into strips, and add to the papaya.
In a mortar, crush the chilies, garlic, and sugar into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings to have your preferred level of tartness, sweetness, and spice. Pour just enough dressing over the papaya and carrots — it shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Toss and set aside.
Grill or saute the shrimp until just done, then add to the tossed salad. Garnish with fried shallots, the peanuts, cilantro, and basil.