Cultured Green Papaya Salad

Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a tangy and crisp green papaya salad. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of sweet papaya and have always steered clear of a green papaya salad on a Thai or Vietnamese menu. After listening to a Thai friend raving about her mom’s recipe, I decided to give it a try. What a revelation: It’s not a mushy sweet salad at all. It turns out that the green papaya used in a traditional Thai salad is a pleasing combination of flavors and textures: tangy, salty, savory, spicy, crunchy, crisp and a bit of sweetness.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1/4 Cup Lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
  • 1 Teaspoon Lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Redboat Fish Sauce
  • 1 to 2 Cloves Garlic cloves fermented minced (can use fresh if you don't have fermented ones)
  • 1 Scallion minced
  • 1 Thai chili sliced optional
  • 0.5 to 1 Tablespoon Coconut palm sugar optional
  • 3 Cups Green papaya flesh, peeled and julienned (or sliced into ribbons)
  • 1 Carrot fermented thinly sliced or regular carrots
  • 8 Cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Combine the lime juice, lime zest, fish sauce, garlic, scallions, Thai bird chilies, and coconut palm sugar with a whisk, making sure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Peel the hard green papaya with a regular vegetable peeler. Next, julienne the papaya. I use a julienne & vegetable peeler by Precision Kitchenware. Alternatively, you can use a fancy mandolin or a knife to finely julienne the papaya into thin matchstick-sized strips.
  3. Combine the prepared papaya, carrot ribbons, cherry tomatoes and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Drizzle the finished dressing over the bowl, and stir well to combine.
  5. You can serve immediately, or marinate it in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Letting it sit really does make the flavors sing so plan ahead if you can. Strain a bit of the excess dressing if desired when serving.

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