Thai Papaya Salads
Thai papaya salads are made from green papayas and not from the ripe ones.
The green and ripe papayas both come from the same tree, but both will have a very different taste and texture.
Green papayas have a more white and crisp flesh with a very mild flavor.
Compared to ripe papayas which have an orange and soft sweet tasting flesh.
Green papayas are the perfect vessel for the flavors that go into green Thai papaya salads.
Authentic Green Thai Papaya Salad
- 1 1/2 cups Julienned Green Papaya (soak in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firmer)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- Thai Chilies to Taste
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Palm Sugar (finely chopped)
- 1 heaping Tbsp. Small Dried Shrimp (or larger dried shrimp roughly chopped)
- 3 Tbsp. Roasted Peanuts
- 1/2 cup Grape Tomato Halves or Small Tomato (cut into wedges)
- 2 to 3 Long Beans (cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
- 2 tsp. Tamarind Juice or Tamarind Paste
- Drain the soaked papaya well and place in a bowl lined with 2 paper towels to absorb excess water.
- In a large mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chilies until there are no big chunks left.
- Add the palm sugar and mash until it turns into a wet paste.
- Add the long beans and pound until they are broken. Add the shrimp and 1/2 of the peanuts - pound to break up the peanuts slightly.
- Then add the fish sauce, tamarind juice, and lime juice. Be sure to add the squeezed lime skin into the mortar for extra lime flavor (do not eat skin).
- Stir with a large spoon to completely dissolve the sugar. Add the julienned papaya and the tomatoes into the mortar.
- Mix ingredients using the pound and flip method.
- Once everything is mixed and tomatoes are slightly crushed, plate the Thai papaya salad.
- Top with other 1/2 of roasted peanuts.
If you do not have a large mortar and pestle, create a makeshift version.
First, finely chop some of the ingredients.
Then use a cylindrical wooden kitchen utensil as the pestle and a stainless steel bowl as the mortar.
What is Palm Sugar?
Palm sugar comes from the sap of palm trees - more specifically from the sap that is present in the flowers of various palm trees.
Palm sugar is a more nutrient dense type of unrefined sweetener.
Palm sugar has a glycemic index rating of 35 which also makes it a low glycemic sweetener.
And it is known for its deep rich flavor that is similar to caramel and butterscotch.
This sweetener is minimally processed, so palm sugar contains minerals like zinc, iron, copper, and potassium. As well as B vitamins.
Palm sugar is called jaggery in India and is often referred to as coconut sap sugar in America. However, palm sugar doesn't always come from the coconut palm tree.
If you can't find authentic palm sugar, you can use maple sugar, brown sugar, or a rich tasting raw honey.
Hawaii Style Green Thai Papaya Salad
- 8 oz. of Julienned Green Papaya (Non-GMO dark green papaya)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic (rough chop)
- 1 Tbsp. of Dried Shrimp (rough chop)
- 2 Thai Chili Peppers or Hawaiian Chili Peppers (seeded & chopped)
- 1/8 cup Fresh Lime Juice
- 2 Tbsp. of Fish Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar or Palm Sugar
- Red Roma Tomato (thinly sliced)
- Bunch of Fresh Cilantro
- Roasted Peanuts
- First peel the green papaya and then use a mandolin or your knife to julienne the papaya.
- Crush the garlic, dried shrimp, and chilies to make a paste - then add to a small mixing bowl.
- Add the brown sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce to mixing bowl - whisk to dissolve the sugar.
- Next, add in the green papaya and toss with the dressing. Adjust the taste of your Thai papaya salad if needed.
- Dress salad with sliced tomatoes and roughly chopped fresh cilantro - toss salad one more time.
Plate your Thai papaya salad in a large mound that looks very appetizing. Garnish with cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts.
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