Sunday, 12 April 2015

Green Papaya Salad - vegetarian version

We have been away recently, travelling to South Australia for our nephew's wedding.
We had a wonderful time, seeing my husband's family, long time friends and watching the union of two beautiful young people.

Luckily the weather was good, warm days with cooler evenings.  When we arrived at Tullamarine in Melbourne and stepped out of the airport building, the winds blew a strong 100kmh so I patted hubby on the back and said "Welcome Home!"

My husband's family are predominantly Italian with a slight German factor and they all cook incredibly well, I did not lift a spatula all week.   Lunch would consist of a pasta course, meat course, vegetable and salad course.  Dinner was very light as you would still be full from your lunchtime.

My brother-in-law is a talented fisherman who offered us beautiful South Australian flake, caught in the cool Indian Ocean and one gorgeous sister-in-law is a chef.  Combined with catching up with extended family, great cooking and warm hospitality, we were glowing with goodness during the entire visit.

It was however still delightful to return to our warmer haven in coastal New South Wales and I was craving light, summer Asian inspired salads.  It was wonderful to see so many green pawpaws and papayas on the trees with the sun dancing through their leaves.  I couldn't wait to pick one for dinner.

I like to take short cuts when I can so I peel the green papaya, quarter it lengthwise and remove the seeds before placing the quarters into the food processor so it can quickly grate them (large disc).

This is a favourite of my family, they especially enjoyed having us return so I could cook for them. (Picture 3 teenagers surviving on frozen meat peas, pizza, maccas and chips whilst we were away.)


Green Papaya Salad

1 green papaya, peeled and roughly grated
4 snake beans, chopped into 1cm pieces (or plain green beans)
1 red tomato, seeds removed and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic 
2 red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped  (or to taste)
2 green shallots
juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander

Combine the grated papaya, the chopped beans, tomato and chopped chillies in a large bowl.
Pound the garlic with the shallots, salt and sugar in a mortar and pestle then add to bowl.
Squeeze over the juice of 2 limes, the mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over top.
You can add chopped fresh coriander at this point but I serve it in a separate bowl so guests can help themselves.  
You can also offer a bowl of extra green and red chillies chopped for people like me, who love this recipe hot.  

This recipe is based on one depicted in The Accidental Vegetarian by Simmon Rimmer.  I served this as a side with barbecued chicken thigh cutlets, but it is equally delicious served with prawns or other seafood.

So tell me, do you like your food with extra chillies?  Have you ever prepared green papaya salad?

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx


  1. Your trip away sounds fantastic! I am not a huge chilli fan and I have never tried green papaya. Something to look out for :)

    1. Thank you we did have a lovely time. Papaya salad is definitely a hot weather climate dish, you can certainly tone down the chilli and leave out the seeds if you prefer it mild Tandy :)

  2. I adore green papaya salad though I have never made it myself. I know what you mean about the weather - I am a Queenslander in Melbourne.

    1. Your birthplace and present location are far apart but it is the people that make a place and Melbourne is a beautiful city with so many opportunities and weekend getaways. I am pleased you like green papaya salad :D

  3. I have never added green beans to papaya salad - I bet they add a nice texture.

    1. Yes they do give it a little texture and a touch of vibrant colour :)

  4. Mmmm - look fabulous Merryn - might see a green papaya here one day! Sounds like you had a great time with family and friends.

    1. Thanks Rachel we did have a great time with family and friends, you will have to grab one if you see them, we are sub tropical but I have only ever seen them to buy once or twice before :)

  5. What a fun looking dish! Papaya isn't one of those ingredients I use very often -- really don't know what to do with it. Now I do! Such a fun dish -- thanks.

  6. Isn't it great how we can eat from so many different countries. You would never get bored living here :D

  7. Dear Merryn,

    This must be one of the most appetizing salads there is. I love the tangy, spicy taste and the crunch of roasted peanuts is a real treat.

  8. Yum, that looks great!
    Melanie @

  9. i did not know you were coastalNSW - are you safe with all this wild weather? i hope so.

  10. Yum, we lived on this in Thailand. So refreshing and tasty...I just cannot seem to get papayas that taste nearly as good in Australia though.