Click HERE to order our new cookbook, The Chubby Vegetarian: 100 Inspired Vegetable Recipes for the Modern Table (Susan Schadt Press, November 2016). The recipe below is featured in the book!
The first time we had the real-deal green papaya salad was at the wonderful Memphis restaurant Chao Praya when it was in the Hickory Hill area of Memphis, and now we're curious to try out the owners' new spot. After a little internet sleuthing and a confirmation phone call, we now believe that we'll be able to order from the old Chao Praya menu at a place called China Dragon out on Hacks Cross. We'll keep you posted!
This particular papaya salad came about since we always see papayas at the store and wonder what we could do with them. Ripe papayas seem to have more flavor and a better texture for this recipe. We realize it's not traditional, but that's kind of why we like it.
Thai-Style Papaya Salad
1 medium firm, just-ripe papaya (2 1/2 cups shredded)
1 hot pepper (Thai Bird Chili or Serrano Pepper)
1 1-inch knob ginger
1 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 green onion (sliced)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
2 sprigs mint
Sriracha (to taste)
10-12 leaves of romaine lettuce
Peel the papaya and shred the flesh using a serrated peeler or by slicing the flesh into thin matchsticks with a knife. You want to get all the papaya flesh while avoiding the large center cavity that's full of seeds. Set shredded papaya aside and prepare the dressing.
In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, blend the hot pepper, ginger, cilantro, and garlic. In a large bowl, whisk together the pepper, ginger, cilantro, and garlic mixture with the green onion, lime juice, Braggs, sugar, and chopped peanuts. Add the shredded papaya and toss to coat.
Serve family-style garnished with mint sprigs and Sriracha with the Romaine leaves on the side. To eat, grab a Romaine leaf and fill it with the spicy papaya salad. Top that with a mint leaf and enjoy. (Serves 2.)