All over Thailand, you’ll see cooks in makeshift sidewalk food carts working huge mortars and pestles, pounding together the ingredients for this spicy, refreshing salad. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop and smash the chiles and garlic with the side of a chef’s knife before mixing them with the remaining dressing ingredients. Traditionally, the papaya is cut into julienne threads with a large, sharp knife, but I prefer the safety of a nifty julienne peeler.
Learn about common Thai ingredients and how to use them.
- 1/4 cup sliced green beans (½-inch lengths)
- 1/2 to 1 red Thai chile pepper, stemmed
- 1 tbsp date sugar
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 cups julienne, shredded or grated green papaya or green mango
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- Into a medium heat-proof bowl, pour 2 cups boiling water over beans. Let sit for 30 seconds; drain and refresh with cold water. Drain and set aside.
- Place chile pepper, sugar and garlic in a large mortar and pestle and pound until the mixture is a fine paste, or smash it with the side of a chef’s knife. Add lime juice and fish sauce and stir to dissolve sugar. Pour into a small bowl.
- Add 1 cup papaya to the mortar and pound with the pestle until the fruit is a little bruised and limp, about 20 seconds. Transfer papaya to a large bowl and toss with the dressing and remaining ingredients. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, vigorously mix the papaya and dressing together with your hands, squeezing gently to bruise the fruit slightly. (MAKE AHEAD: This salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.)
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 88
- Carbohydrate Content: 15.5 g
- Fat Content: 2.5 g
- Fiber Content: 2 g
- Protein Content: 4 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 0.5 g
- Sodium Content: 312 mg
- Sugar Content: 9 g