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Green Papaya Salad

A gorgeous, fresh, thai style salad that will impress your friends but is easy to do. Perfect with some sticky rice and some grilled prawns. A Thai neighbour taught me some Thai basics including the dressing for this salad which is also lovely over steamed fish with chilli and garlic.


  • 1 green papaya

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 4 birdseye chilli, whole

  • 6 cherry tomatoes

  • ½ cup raw peanuts

  • coriander

  • Dressing

  • ½ block tamarind paste

  • 2 cups warm water

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce


  • 1.

    For the dressing – this can be made ahead of time

  • 2.

    In a small saucepan add the tamarind and water. Place on low heat and break up with a wooden spoon until the water is brown and the tamarind seems dissolved. Pass through a fine sieve, discard the pulp. Place the water in a small saucepan over low heat and add sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring often. Once to a boil, reduce heat and allow to reduce and thicken slightly. Skim off any impurities through this process. Taste for balance and adjust accordingly. Transfer to a jar or bowl and refrigerate.

  • 3.

    For the salad

  • 4.

    Roast peanuts. Crush for garnish.

  • 5.

    Peel and grate the papaya and place on your large serving dish.

  • 6.

    In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, chilli, tomato, a decent pinch of salt and about 2 tablespoons of the grated papaya. Tumble that onto the serving dish and toss through with about 8 tablespoons of your dressing and most of the peanuts. Garnish with remaining crushed peanuts and some coriander leaves.

  • 7.

    Serve immediately with sticky rice and grilled prawns.


All can be made ahead of time, just leave the dressing prior to serving. Serve with a wedge of lime for some extra zing!

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