Register for My Planner

Register using the one of the following:

(How do I find my Customer Number?)

Already have an account?

* Required

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy

Recipe: Green Papaya Salad

Posted on 12/5/2017 12:00:00 AM in The Buzz

In this salad, the papaya—still green and unripe—is treated more like a vegetable than a fruit.

While variations of this dish are found all over Southeast Asia, green papaya salad most likely originated in Laos, and then spread to the rest of the area via settlers in modern-day Thailand. It’s more commonly served as a street food than in restaurants, and it can easily be tweaked according to each diner’s taste—particularly in regards to the spice level from the chilies.

Green papaya salad is an excellent introduction to Southeast Asian food because it clearly demonstrates the five main tastes of the local cuisine: salty, sweet, hot, sour, and savory—which isn’t the same as salty. Popularized in recent years as “umami,” the savory taste is often found in fermented foods, which add a rich depth of flavor and signature funk. Here, it comes courtesy of fish sauce.

While fish sauce can be off-putting to uninitiated palates—the smell even more than the flavor—please give it a try in this recipe. And be thankful that Epicurious brings us a Cambodian version of green papaya salad, rather than a traditional Laotian recipe. In Laos, cooks use fermented fish paste, which is funkier and more pungent. Even we have limits.

You can watch the experts prepare this dish—and share some helpful ingredient tips—in a film following the recipe, and download an easy-to-print PDF.


  • 1 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) green papaya
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 ounce Asian-style beef jerky (optional), cut into fine julienne
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 3 small (1-inch) fresh Asian chiles such as bird or Thai, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled galangal or fresh ginger
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Accompaniment: soft-leaf lettuce


  1. Peel and seed papaya. Cut into large pieces and then julienne.

  2. Combine with tomato, jerky, garlic, chiles, and galangal in a large bowl.

  3. Stir together lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved and toss with papaya mixture.

  4. Mound salad on a platter and serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

Sample the fresh flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine when you join us for Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam.

Get The Inside Scoop on…

Articles in this Edition

Stink on Ice

December 05, 2017

Travelogue: Marrakesh, Morocco 1951

December 05, 2017

Incredible Bhutan: Paro Tsechu

December 05, 2017

Berlin's Hidden Charm

December 05, 2017

Solo Travel Equals Mindful Travel

December 05, 2017

Recipe: Green Papaya Salad

December 05, 2017

Top 10 Extensions for 2018

December 05, 2017

We use cookies to improve your experience, by using our site you accept such use. To view our cookie and privacy policy please click here.