A green papaya salad has got to be one of my favorite things to order at our local Thai food restaurant. It’s light, fresh, a little spicy and has just enough crunch. 

I’ve been on the hunt for green papaya and could only find it at specialty Asian food stores. To make this recipe a little more accessible, I decided to ditch the green, unripened papaya and use an almost ripe small Hawaiian papaya. They seem to be the easiest to find, are a little sweeter and add a great level of flavor.

The trick here is to cut the papaya into tiny little strips also known as a Julianne. You can do this with that setting on a mandolin or by hand.  

Make this for lunch, or accompany any Asian style dinner at home. Date night just got that much better! 

 Serves 2 as a main- 4 as a side

The  Goods: 

  • 1 small, almost ripe Hawaiian papaya, julienned
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved  
  • 1 cup red cabbage, julienned
  • 1 handful bamboo shoots
  • 8 green beans, cut in half
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leafs
  • 1/4 cup basil leafs 

The Dressing- 

  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp chili paste
  • 3 tbsp water

 The Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for dressing. Taste for desired sweetness and saltyness. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium size bowl, add papaya, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes and shoots.
  3. Pour dressing over papaya mixture and toss. 
  4. Grab your serving bowl and scoop dressed salad into the bowl. 
  5. Top with peanuts, green onions, cilantro and basil.
  6. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.