I love Green Papaya Salads whenever I have ordered them at Vietnamese restaurants, but often they serve a dressing that has dried Shrimp in it and I'm allergic. So, the best thing for me to do is make it at home. I usually stop by Viet Wah Supermarket on the way back from the airport and found some Green Papaya and made this delightful salad. It was so much easier than I thought and so inexpensive too. I wanted to make it a main dish salad so I added in some leftover roast Pork, although Chicken and Beef would work just as well. The dressing is light with no oil - just Lime Juice, Garlic, Red Chili Flakes, Fish Sauce and some Sugar. When it's tossed together with the Papaya, something magical happens. I added some sliced tomatoes for some. If you can't find Green Papaya, I've heard that Green Apple makes a good substitute. I was just so happy eating this delicious salad!
Green Papaya Salad
1 large Green Papaya (about 1 pound), peeled and seeded and cut into julienned slices
1/2 cup of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup fresh Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
Optional: 1 cup of sliced cooked meat, cut into thin strips
Combine the Garlic, Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Sugar and Red Chili Flakes. Stir to combine and dissolve Sugar. Place the Green Papaya shreds into a large bowl and sprinkle with the sliced Cherry Tomatoes and meat. Pour the Dressing over and toss to combine. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes before serving to meld the flavors.
Five Element Analysis
Papaya in Chinese Medicine is thought to lubricate the lungs, enhance digestion and relieve inflammation so you know this salad is good for you! Ripe Papaya is normally considered an Earthy tropical fruit as it is sweet, but when it is green, it becomes more Woody, so both elements are covered. The Lime Juice adds even more of the Wood Element and the Sugar brings in more of the Earth. The Tomatoes and the Red Chili Flakes contribute the Fire Element, whereas the Garlic Cloves add the Metal Element. Even the Water Element is present, represented by the Fish Sauce and the sliced Pork. This then is a balanced little salad!