Green Papaya Salad

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A friend from work brought me papayas from his tree, one ripe and the other one green. With the ripe one, I baked a papaya bread and used whatever was left in fruit salad.

But I was especially excited about the green papaya. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to try and make the famous Thai green papaya salad, and there was my chance.

When I read through some recipes it seemed like making the salad was a piece of cake. When I actually started making it, I realized that although the salad was not hard to make, it was time consuming. Luckily, the salad was so delicious and refreshing that it was worth the time put into making it. I’ll most probably make it again.

1 ½ lb green papaya (1 large or 2 medium papayas)
8 cloves garlic
3 small Thai chilies
1 ½ tbs coconut palm sugar or golden-brown sugar
3 tbs Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 cup sliced green beans
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 tbs fresh lime juice
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped

Peel the papaya and cut in half. Discard of the seeds. Slice the papaya into thin slices, where it is still green (my papaya was already changing color into orange on the inside). Cut the slices into thin julienne strips. Use a mortar or a meat tenderizer tool to lightly pound the papaya strips. It will make the strips absorb the sauce better.

Lightly pound the string bean strips and the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the pounded papaya and the chopped peanuts.

Place the garlic and chilies in a mortar and pound them to bits. Add the sugar and fish sauce and blend them in using the pestle. If you do not have a pestle and mortar, place the ingredients in a small food processor bowl equipped with the blade and chop thinly. Add the lime juice and mix well.

Pour the sauce on the vegetables in the large bowl, mix well and serve.

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