Julie's Green Papaya Salad
1 Green Papaya (A good, fresh green papaya is dark green and firm.)
1 garlic clove
1-2 dried red Thai chilies
4-5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
Mushroom seasoning, to taste
1/2 to 1/4 lime
fish sauce, to taste
Regular vegetable peeler
Julienne peeler (if you are not going to shred the papaya in the traditional way)
Mortar and pestle
PEELING THE PAPAYA
Peel the skin from the papaya using the regular vegetable peeler.
If the papaya is fresh, you will notice a white milky liquid leaking from the papaya. Julie suggests that you wash off the papaya to remove any of this enzyme as it will cause the papaya to taste bitter.
SHREDDING THE PAPAYA
Choosing either of the methods below, shred the papaya until you reach the center, but be careful not to cut into the seeds. A sign of a good, green papaya is that there will not yet be many seeds in the center.
According to Julie, it is essential to have varying size papaya strips to create a more textured salad that is not limp when eaten. Vary the length and thickness of the strips as you are shredding by changing the direction of the knife/peeler as you go.
TRADITIONAL SHREDDING METHOD - KNIFE
Once the papaya is peeled, gentle chop at the papaya with the knife to make long, straight cuts down the length of the papaya. You can hold the papaya in one hand and the knife in the other, but watch out for your hands and fingers! Once the face of the papaya is covered with cuts, gently use the knife to shave off the cut layers.
MODERN SHREDDING METHOD - JULIENNE PEELER
Use the julienne peeler to gently shred the papaya. Be sure to use the peeler with a gentle and light touch to avoid creating papaya strips that are too thick. Julie says that is important not to end up with french fries!
ADDING THE SEASONING
Using the mortar and pestle crush the garlic clove and red chilies. (Reminder from Julie: If using the mortar and pestle on the ground, please remember your cooking etiquette and sit in a lady-like position with your knees together and to the side!!)
Leaving the pestle in the mortar, add the shredded papaya, tomatoes and mushroom seasoning. Squeeze in the lime juice(then throw the lime wedge into the mortar) and the fish sauce to taste.
Using the pestle in one hand and a spoon in the other, gently fold and crush the ingredients together into the flavors are well blended.
Serve with grilled meats and sticky rice.
Pairs Well With
Julie is famous for her 50 Chili Green Papaya Salad that even her family thinks is insanely hot! Here is a 1-2 chili version that Rusty's family still thinks is too hot. A version without any chilies may be all they can handle.