Green papaya salads used to be the entire reason I would want to go out to Thai food in the first place. Back in the day before I was gluten-free.
It was crunchy and refreshing, and always so fresh feeling, compared to that saucy stuff.
Although, to be honest, it’s been a few years since I’ve been to any sort of Thai restaurant, given all the soy sauce that’s infused in almost every single dish.
I thought about trying to make it at home, but green papaya? Basically, it’s an upripe papaya.
That is in no store ever. Not even Whole Foods carries it, requiring a special trip to the international grocery store. Which is not happening. Because, come on. Who has time for that?
So we’ve got the soy sauce thing, and the green papaya mystery. Equaling no green papaya salad for this girl, ever again.
Until this week.
I started reading more about fish sauce. Which, according to this month’s issue of Food and Wine, is supes-trendy right now. And naturally soy-free, but with a similar taste.
And then I read a little line below it– daikon radish is a great swap for green papaya, if you peel and grate it.
And so, you now officially have a green papaya salad making freak. I can’t stop.
Anyone want to join me?
Based on the fact that my 4 serving dish lasted approximately 1.5 servings, you should probably add this one to your quick meal, picnic-worthy, make-ahead bomb meals that you love.
(But also, screw those servings anyways because it’s delicious and healthy and all real food.)
Thai Crab + Green Papaya Salad
Makes 2 servings
2 large daikon radishes (or 1 large green papaya)
1 cucumber, julienned
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup chopped basil
1 handful chopped parsley
1 handful crushed roasted peanuts
¼ lb fresh cooked crab, shrimp or chicken (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
sea salt and pepper to taste
Peel daikon radishes and cucumbers. Grate the radish with a large box grater, and julienne the cucumber. Set in a colander to let excess water run off while you chop the tomatoes, herbs and peanuts.
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small separate bowl, then layer salad ingredients into serving bowls, topping with tomatoes, herbs, peanuts, crab and drizzle with dressing to serve.
Optional to toss and garnish with extra lime wedges, peanuts and herbs.
Love this recipe? You’d probably looooove the full cookbook. Grab a copy here, in hardcover or the kindle edition!