“Green” Papaya Salad – with variations

This is your most basic papaya salad – but anything goes – so long as the most important flavors are present. Garlic, chili, lemon/lime juice, peanuts – or any roasted nut (I’ve done this with almonds, hazelnuts, even walnuts) and some kind of herb. I like Thai basil the best but cilantro is traditional. The heat from the chili can be adjusted to your taste – I like it hot!


  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar (or 1 packet stevia for no sugar option)
  • juice of 1-2 lemons (just make sure you have at least 1/4 cup juice)
  • 1 dash chili sauce or 1 minced Hawaiian chili
  • 1-2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (however feel free to substitute other nuts)
  • 2 Medium unripe papayas or 1 large (use a vegetable peeler to skin the papaya and a mandoline to shred it, alternatively you can use your cheese grator or cuisineart)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (mint, thai basil, regular basil are all great substitutes)

First take fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar – or substitute – and combine in a bowl, set aside.

Crush garlic with nuts in a mortar & pestle – set aside

Peel, seed and grate your papaya.

Mix papaya with crushed garlic mixture then add your dressing and top with herbs and any additional chopped nuts. So ono!


Note: I will make a “papaya-esk” salasd out of anything. I’ve used leftover broccoli stalks and combined them with papaya, you could use cucumber (just peel and seed), zucchini, carrots. You can add chopped tomato, blanched or raw green beans to add more diversity and color. Let yourself go wild here and enjoy the taste of the east – Hawaiian style!