Vegetarian Papaya Salad

Vegetarian Papaya Salad

Update 4/21/14: I updated this recipe based on our experiences in Laos and Thailand over the holidays. This version is more authentic, but still vegetarian!

I made my husband Tejas stop at Westminster Market in Little Saigon while we were driving back from San Diego. It was almost 10pm but I knew it must be open, it was only 2 minutes off the freeway, and I needed a green papaya! I have been wanting to make papaya salad for a while and we are really not near any Asian markets and the last time I was at one they were out. So I needed one. It made since to stop right?

To make this vegetarian papaya salad takes a little crushing and mashing but it doesn’t take long and the end result is a such a refreshing salad. I used She Simmers’s recommendation to not use soy sauce and stick to salt!

A julienne peeler makes this salad really easy. There are all kinds of julienne peelers, I happened to get this Titan one on an infomercial years ago. If you don’t have a julienne peeler, you can make lots of knife cuts lengthwise on a peeled papaya and then use a regular peeler to shave off the strips that were created by the knife.

Green Papaya

2 cloves garlic
2 fresh red chilis
10 green beans
1/2 green papaya
10 cherry or other tiny tomatoes cut in half
Fresh squeezed lime juice (to taste)
Palm sugar (or regular sugar) to taste
Salt to taste
1/3 cup toasted peanuts crushed a little

  1. Shred the papaya using a julienne peeler.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic until smooth. Add the red chilis and smash again until they are broken up. Add the green beans and smash a little as well. Add the tomatoes and papaya and smash. You want the tomatoes to juice up some.
  3. Squeeze in the lime juice and stir in the sugar and salt.
  4. Top with peanuts.

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