- Food: Green Papaya Salad
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
A distinctive and nutritious vegetarian dish is made of green papaya ribbons that have been mixed with a vibrant Asian-inspired herb, lime, and lemongrass sauce.
For some time now, I’ve been wanting to make a green papaya salad. Simply put, I don’t see them very often (the unripe, bitter green variety).
Jack and I visited the MT Supermarket a few weekends ago. It’s a massively big Asian market that we’d never been to before.
Have you been there if you reside in Austin? Only “the Asian grocery version of IKEA” will do as a description, in my opinion.
Fun, although probably just because it was our first time, and overwhelming. and make sure you’re well-rested before you leave. I returned home with green papaya along with other delights.
I cut papaya into thin, uniform strips with a julienne peeler (I know, another gadget – sorry!) and tossed them with some chopped vegetables and a simple dressing of scallions, herbs, lemongrass, a generous amount of coconut milk, and a few squeezes of lime.
You can stop there if you’re serving this as a side dish. This was our dinner that night, so I added some shrimp on top to make it a more substantial and filling dish. It would also be great to have some baked or grilled tofu.
To get these neat, uniform papaya strips, I used a julienne peeler. It took me a few trying minutes to figure out how to use the julienne peeler, but once I did, it was really simple.
If you had cut them with a knife, they wouldn’t have been as noodle-like and it would have taken more time.
It helps to have strips that are nice and thin and even.
Green Papaya Salad
For the dressing:
- 1 scallion, green and white parts
- Splash sesame oil (1-2 teaspoons)
- A few inches of lemongrass, coarsely chopped (the food processor will do the rest)*
- ½ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup basil or mint
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Splash soy sauce
- ¼ cup coconut milk, light or full fat
- Splash agave syrup or a pinch of sugar
- Sriracha, to taste
- Zest & juice of 1 lime (1-2 tablespoons of lime juice)
For the salad:
- 1 green papaya, julienned (about 3 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- Extra scattered herbs that you might have left over from the dressing
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Chopped, roasted peanuts, for garnish
- A protein of your choice (optional)
- Creating the dressing To blend the ingredients but leave some coarse herb flecks visible, pulse the scallion, sesame oil, lemongrass, cilantro, basil, garlic, soy sauce, coconut milk, agave, sriracha, and lime juice, and zest in a food processor until incorporated but not pureed. Adjust seasonings based on taste.
- With the papaya, bell pepper, and scallion in place, assemble the salad and add as much or as little dressing as you desire. If using, add a protein to the top before adding the chopped herbs and peanuts as a garnish.
- If you don’t have lemongrass, simply taste it and, if desired, add more lime zest.