The day came when I had an invitation running and promised to whip up a papaya salad. The crux was finding a papaya that was edible. In asia, nobody would probably understand what my problem was, but since I am more into eating a ripe papaya as a salad, I was looking for ripe ones. Bad luck that day when nobody was selling any papayas. They were either unripe, stone hard or just not edible at all. My guest was going to be standing at the door in just 3 hours. I was getting into a real panic.
Until I discovered a new asian store and asked the lady if she had any papaya. Yes yes! Green papaya is on the shelves there! She pointed out. I looked, wrinkled my nose, still remembering the vague times when I had the green papaya and mangoes in Thailand and the sourness was still running through my spine. Nevertheless, I grabbed the papaya and rushed home to prepare the dish. I didn’t have much time left to do everything when I discovered with horror that I forgot to buy a lettuce. That was then when I had to suddenly turn the menu upside down and put the desserts in the salad.
I suppose if such situations never happened, I wouldn’t be doing such nuisance. And it came out as a nice surpise. here’s how
1 ripe mango, diced in small bite pieces
1 green papaya (sliced or shredded, without the skin, remove the seeds)
1/2 cucumber (sliced)
long beans (optional)
6 sweet cocktail tomatoes (halfed, then sliced)
3 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped finely)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 lemon (juice) or (2) lime
2 sprigs of coriander leaves (chopped)
2 chillipadi (or 1 if you’re not for piping hot salads)
1/2 red onion
5 mint leaves (chopped)
2 tbsp grounded and roasted peanuts
- Put everything in a bowl
- In a glass, add sugar, garlic, fish sauce, lemon juice, chillies and stir till most of the sugar has dissolved
- Just before serving, pour the mixture over the salad and mix vigorously.
- Enjoy this with a curry, or any other meaty dishes.
You could also check out the version with the ripe papaya and leafy greens.