Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Green Papaya Salad Questions


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,686 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:40 AM

My nest "first attempt" will be a green papaya salad.  I've checked and downloaded a few recipes from various cooking sites, and have a pretty good idea of how I want to proceed.  However, I do have some questions:

 

What kind of papaya is best suited to this salad?  It seems that the big ones are most often used, but which big ones, or does it matter?

 

If anyone has made this dish, any tips and suggestions would be appreciated, as would any comments on your experiences making the salad.

 

Thanks!


.... Shel


#2 Katie Meadow

Katie Meadow
  • participating member
  • 1,341 posts
  • Location:Bay Area / East Bay

Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

Hi, a green papaya salad isn't just made from unripe papaya. It is a special kind of papaya, and should be labeled as such. They are definitely different looking from the typical Hawaiian or Mexican papayas, which are eaten ripe. Sometimes I have gotten them at Berkeley Bowl. Another option would be to search out the Asian veg markets such as the ones around 12th Ave and 12th st in Oakland where a lot of Vietnamese shop and eat. I have made green papaya salad a few times, sometimes very simple ones, and sometimes Kasma's recipe, which I got from her class. If you don't know about her (she lives and teaches near Piedmont Ave in Oakand) check out her web site. Maybe her recipe is on it, dunno.



#3 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,402 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:37 PM

Second the recommendation to look for green papaya for the salad at an Asian market.

 

Where I shop, the green papayas for Thai salad are in a bin labeled "green papaya," so there's no doubt, or guesswork needed.  Often, they will be sliced into halves, and covered with plastic wrap, so you can clearly see that the meat is still green, and the seeds are white.



#4 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,686 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 16 June 2013 - 06:21 AM

Hi, a green papaya salad isn't just made from unripe papaya. It is a special kind of papaya, and should be labeled as such. They are definitely different looking from the typical Hawaiian or Mexican papayas, which are eaten ripe. Sometimes I have gotten them at Berkeley Bowl. Another option would be to search out the Asian veg markets such as the ones around 12th Ave and 12th st in Oakland where a lot of Vietnamese shop and eat. I have made green papaya salad a few times, sometimes very simple ones, and sometimes Kasma's recipe, which I got from her class. If you don't know about her (she lives and teaches near Piedmont Ave in Oakand) check out her web site. Maybe her recipe is on it, dunno.

 

Monterey Market may also be a choice for the papaya, and it's closer to me than Berkeley Bowl and downtown Oakland.

 

Thanks for the tip about Kasma's site ... it looks to be quite interesting.


.... Shel


#5 loki

loki
  • participating member
  • 124 posts

Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

There is hardly any good info about green papaya out there.  Even a source that's usually reliable for me is contradictory - Purdue New Crop site.  Most repeat that green papaya is poisonous or at least inedible raw!  At first I thought that Katie was wrong and that any papaya picked green would work.  That IS true with mangoes (I used to live where they grew - and maybe I should just say most mangoes).  But since I am not near any papaya growing region I can't test this out.  Regardless, I've never seen green-enough papayas in the regular supermarket.  They are all ones that are ripe or semi-ripe, and unsuitable for Som Tum - Green Papaya Salad.  I have to go nearly 100 miles to get these.  There was a thai restaurant here but alas no more.  

 

However, I like the salad with green mango (Som Tum Mamuang) even better.  You might like it too?  Just sub green mangos - with the peel. Find unripe mangoes that are as firm as possible as color is not a reliable indicator, some green ones can be quite ripe. This version is especially good with dried shrimp, not always put into the green papaya version (I like to heat them in oil till crispy first - I learned this from a restaurant I liked), but some people simply soak them or just add them dry.  Some people can't stand these so be aware and perhaps leave these as an add-to-your-own plate accompaniment. I've made this with fresh shrimp too - boiled and chilled - grilled could work too. You need a bit less lime or tamarind (depending on the recipe) as the green mango is pretty sour.  Now again, true hard, green mangoes are hardly ever found in the local grocery store, but for this salad, partially green ones work just fine, maybe even better.  

 

Lastly, I experimented with zucchini - and it turned out great!  I made a "Som Tum" with a mixture of Zucchini and green mango - shredded with a mandoline, and it's really tasty.  I try to substitute local ingredients into SE Asian dishes that approximate ingredients that I can't get here - both for expediency, and to use my garden produce.  Tomatilloes, for instance can sub for tamarind in some dishes where sour is desired (it of course can't sub for the raisin - molasses notes).

 

Here's my recipe:

 

4 cups julienned zucchini (from a larger firm one)

1 green mango julienned - as green (firm) as you can find.  You could leave this out if you want, but I had one.

3 tomatoes chopped roughly

8 long beans broken into 3 inch lengths (asparagus, yard-long, snake beans) or sub green beans but you may have to blanch these if they are not great raw

1 lime juiced (or more depending on the size)  - about 2-3 TBL

1 TBL tamarind water (make it from soaking tamarind pulp, or use concentrate) optional

4 cloves garlic chopped or more

2 hot green chiles (bird or cayenne) chopped - or more, red will work too as will chile paste if that's what you have

2 TBL fish sauce

1 TBL palm sugar (or brown or regular) broken up

3 TBL dried shrimp - crisped (shallow fried) in a little oil

3 TBL roasted peanuts chopped (I leave them halved whole if they are small) 

Salt - you may need a bit - depending on the saltiness of the fish sauce and shrimp (these are sometimes salty)

 

Mix the veges.  This is traditionally pounded together, so be a bit rough, especially with the beans and tomatoes to break them up a bit.  Add the other ingredients and mix well. if you use palm sugar you may have to break it up or buzz it in a blender or water-proof grinder with the liquid ingredients or it won't mix properly (letting the salad sit for awhile can work too). The zucchini will exude more water than papaya but this is OK, you can pour it off if you like and replace some of the sauce ingredients.  I found that the juice was fine left in - I strain some of the salad on a plate with some sticky rice - and pour on a little juice on the rice.  You can always alter the taste of this to your own liking when serving with more lime, sugar, chile, or fish sauce. Lettuce or cabbage (Chinese usually), and herbs (basil, cilantro, etc.) can accompany this too.

 

If you do have a large mortar and pestle - start with the garlic, chiles, and palm sugar and grind well, add the peanuts and grind till chopped,  then add the beans and tomatoes and roughen, then all the rest, pounding and mixing as desired.  You may have to leave out the zucchini and just add this last to a bowl as it makes a lot and probably won't fit into the mortar.


  • Shel_B likes this

#6 scubadoo97

scubadoo97
  • participating member
  • 2,094 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, Florida

Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:27 AM

Interesting. I have used green regular papayas to make salad and didn't notice a difference from the salads I've had in local Thai restaurants. Yikes!! Well I'm alive to tell about it.

#7 loki

loki
  • participating member
  • 124 posts

Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:40 PM

I think it's ones that have white latex sap - Not sure if this is a stage all go through or not.  But it's not highly toxic - but more irritating.  You apparently can cook this away.  Wish there was more direct info out there.  I also know of a few people who are allergic to mangoes (especially the skin of the fruit) too - they are related (same family) to poison ivy - and some people have a allergy or sensitivity to both.  Fortunately not me - I'm really sensitive to poison ivy but not to mangoes!