Thai cooks use green papaya as a raw “vegetable” in salads or pickle it and serve it with rice and grilled meats. When cut open, the hard, immature fruit reveals pale green flesh and white seeds. To shred the
papaya, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Using a mandoline fitted with the finest julienne blade or the largest holes of a box grater, shred the flesh into long, thin pieces.
Green Papaya Salad
1 fresh Thai red chile or serrano chile
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, trimmed
1 cup (6 oz./180 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green papaya, about 1 lb. (500 g), peeled and seeded
3 carrots, peeled
For the dressing:
3 garlic cloves
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce or 1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Chopped green onions, cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts for garnish
Thinly slice the chile into rounds and place in a small bowl. Cover with the rice vinegar and set aside for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Fill a saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add 1 Tbs. salt and the green beans. Blanch the green beans until bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the green beans in a colander, rinse under cold running water to cool and drain again. Thinly slice the green beans on the diagonal into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes to the bowl with the green beans.
Using the largest holes of a box grater or the finest julienne blade of a mandoline, shred the papaya and then shred the carrots. Add the papaya and carrots to the bowl with the green beans and tomatoes. Drain the chiles and add to the bowl with the vegetables; discard the vinegar.
To make the dressing, in a mini food processor, combine the garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar and salt and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the green onions, cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
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