Green papaya is a little used ingredient in western cooking but is commonly used in South-East Asian countries such as Thailand. While it is cooked and used in curries and stews, this simple, raw salad makes a wonderfully refreshing accompaniment to other spicy Thai dishes or as a lunch on its own. Bruising the green papaya helps it soften and absorb the other flavours. This dish goes well as a side dish to prawn or meat recipes or try it with our Pad Thai Recipe.

Green Papaya Salad Recipe
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2 cups peeled and julienned (finely sliced) green papaya – about 1 large papaya*
1 long red chilli (or small birds eye chilli) seeds removed
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaped tablespoon roasted peanuts
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
2 snake beans, cut into 1cm lengths (you can use string green beans if you can’t get snake beans)*
handful of mint leaves, finely sliced
handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp palm sugar* (or substitute with brown sugar)
1 tbsp tamarind water (or 1tsp tamarind paste mixed with 1 tsp water)*
1 tbsp fish sauce

In a mortar and pestle, pound salt and chilli. Add peanuts and pound to a coarse paste. Add green papaya, lime, tomatoes and beans and bruise. Add the remainder of the ingredients and pound until all mixed together and serve.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Notes:

This dish is best made in a large mortar and pestle, or if you only have a small one, pound all sauce ingredients in a mortar and pestle and add to green papaya in a bowl and mix well.

Green papaya, tamarind water, palm sugar and snake beans can all be purchased from Asian Grocers or Markets. A green papaya is simply an unripe papaya or paw paw. When choosing a green papaya, look for one that is firm and green all over. Ensure you peel your green papaya before shredding. A useful tool to make this salad is a julienne peeler that looks like a vegetable peeler and can be bought in most kitchenware shops.

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