Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe
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Almost every Thai restaurant that I have been to has green papaya salad on its menu and it is one of my favorite Thai appetizers.  It is the lime dressing that really makes this dish.  In fact, the dressing is so good that you can actually substitute carrots for the papaya if you cannot easily find papaya. For the salad: 2 pounds green papaya (may substitute 2 pounds carrots) ¼ pound fresh green beans 1 tomato Salad Garnish: ¼ cup shelled and roasted peanuts, ground or chopped fine Green lettuce leaves For the Dressing: 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (I use 3 Crabs brand) 2 tablespoons sugar Peel the papaya and julienne it, which means to cut it into shredded “matchstick” sized pieces.  These need to be as slim as you can make them. Also slice the green beans into thin strips or short cut pieces.  And slice the tomato into thin slices.  Optional:  These two ingredients can be pounded with a mortar and pestle just to break them open so that their flavors can be easily combined. Meanwhile, take all the ingredients for the dressing and just stir them or shake them up in a jar.  The amount of dressing will seem like it will not be enough, but it will be okay.  Make a double batch if you like. Finally, just toss the papaya, beans and tomato with the finished dressing. Spread a couple leaves of green lettuce on a serving plate and serve the salad on top of the leaves.  Sprinkle the peanuts over everything and serve! Other options for the salad: ¼ cup red bell pepper, cut into matchstick pieces – good for color if you are not using tomato! ½ cup cilantro leaves Other options for the dressing: ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce (I use Huy Fong Foods brand with the rooster on the bottle.) 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine 2 green onions, chopped fine