Recipe for a green papaya salad without fish sauce – Vegan and Vegetarian friendly
Even if you are someone who makes a face at the mention of papaya, this raw papaya salad will win you over. This salad is quite common in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The balance of flavours that is the hallmark of SE Asian cuisine is so evident in this salad. I’ve improvised a bit, using the sourness from grated raw mangoes instead of using lemon juice, because raw / green mangoes are in season now.
To make the salad more colourful, feel free to add similarly julienned carrot, shredded purple cabbage and any other vegetables. The julienne grater / peeler makes prep for this salad such quick work, that even your kids will be happy to do it for you.
I’ll be using green papayas a lot more, now that the papaya tree in the garden has started fruiting 🙂 No more hunting for the perfect, fresh green papaya in supermarkets!
Papaya is known for its health benefits, which is why many people despite not being a big fan of this fruit, prefer to have it for breakfast 🙂 Green or raw papaya is a rich source of fibre and vitamins. It is abundant in the enzyme ‘papain’ which is said to breakdown protein, which is why grated raw papaya is often used as a meat tenderiser in Indian cooking. As a medication, it is used to reduce pain and inflammation, as a digestive aid, to treat throat inflammation and much more. At just 39 calories per 100 grams, it is an excellent low-calorie, high-nutrition ingredient to include in your diet.
Green Papaya Salad
- 2 cups papaya shredded raw
- 4 - 5 beans yard long (optional)
- 6 - 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup peanuts roasted
- 1/4 cup coriander
- 6 - 8 Thai basil leaves
- 2 chilies Thai red
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsps soy sauce
- 2 tbsps water
- 2 tbsps mango lemon juice finely grated sour raw OR 2 tbsps
- To make the Papaya salad, start by shredding a raw papaya. This is best done using a Julienne Peeler / Grater where the peeler shreds the papaya into long noodles which are perfect for this salad.
- String the beans (if using them) and chop them into 1 cm pieces.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Using a mortar and pestle, muddle all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust the flavours as required. Traditionally, fish sauce is used, but here in the vegetarian version, we are using soy sauce. Grated raw mango adds the required tang, so use it when it is in season. Otherwise, lemon juice can be used.
- Remove the dressing into a large bowl. Add the grated papaya, beans, tomatoes and toss until well coated.
- Remove this into a serving bowl and top with roasted peanuts. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander and the raw papaya salad is ready to eat. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving, for better flavour.