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Need a cool and refreshing dish for a Fourth of July party? Green salads do not have to include lettuce! I suggest a crisp Thai salad that combines a sweet-and-tart-and-salty-and-hot dressing on a raw, unripe fruit salad. Once I picked up the wrong fruit at the store and made this salad with green mango instead of green papaya and it was just as delicious. I have also made this salad with peeled and seeded cucumber and I’m sure that green apple add the right tang and crunch.

Green Papaya Salad

  • 2 cups shredded green papaya or green mango
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 tomato, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and chopped peanuts or cashews
  • 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • chopped cilantro or mint for garnish, about 2 tablespoons
  • bibb lettuce cups for serving, if desired
  • lime wedges for garnish

Use a mandolin with a julienne blade or julienne peeler to cut the papaya and carrot into skinny, long strips. Cut the beans into two-inch sections. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the beans until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes, then stop the cooking by draining in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

Mix together the papaya, carrot, beans, and chopped tomato. Toss with dressing. Spoon into lettuce cups. Top with peanuts, ginger, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

for the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Thai chile pepper, minced
  • black pepper to taste

In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar and cook until melted. Remove from heat and add the tamarind, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, chile, and pepper. Toss with the salad. This dressing can also be used as a dipping sauce for dumplings or spring rolls.

Thai food is perfect for hot summer evenings. To learn more about preparing Thai recipes, please join us for these upcoming cooking classes:

Friday, July 20: “Cocktail Shakers” featuring Thai beef lettuce wraps

Sunday, July 22: “Thai One On” featuring featuring Thai tuna tacos

Tuesday, July 24: “Pepperazzi Are Hot On the Trail” featuring Thai chicken wings

Saturday, August 25: “Beau Thai” featuring coconut-marinated grilled pork chops, plus green mango salad

Register Now for Cooking Classes