Green Papaya Salad


  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 fresh serrano chilis, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw or white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce to taste
  • 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, chopped into 1" lengths (optional)
  • 1 small to medium (unripe) papaya or if green papaya is unavailable, use equivalent amount of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots).
  • Lettuce for serving (optional)


  1. In a blender or mortar, blend or pound garlic, salt, peanuts, chilies, sugar and shrimp (if using) into a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in lime juice and fish sauce. Use a spoon (or the mortar) to lightly crush tomatoes and beans (if using), then add to bowl and mix lightly.

  2. Peel and coarsely grate or shred papaya, discarding seeds and inner membrane. There should be 4 to 6 cups.

  3. Add papaya to bowl and lightly but thoroughly toss together. Taste for seasoning. Mound in a bowl (if desired, line bowl with lettuce leaves beforehand). Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

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