We have two large, lovely papaya (paw paw) trees in our back yard at Casa Turchese. In fact, one is becoming so lovely and large that it is starting to block our sea view. When I suggested that we cut it down, Tessa fought valiantly (and won) against me from committing tree murder. So, we are now swimming in green papaya.
Now, when I lived in Hawaii, I used to frequent the Thai restaurants quite a bit. My favorite thing to eat there was their Green Papaya Salad. I drew inspiration from Hawaii and by our plethora of green papayas and the need to feed four people or more without spending very much money. So, I came up with this recipe, which I think is kinda like the original.
It’s fresh, easy to make, and very, very filling.
Here is the recipe:
· 1 medium or large green paw paw (papaya)
· 1 clove garlic
· Sesame seed oil
· Fish sauce
· Olive oil
· 1 small chili
· 3 or 4 bush limes to taste
· Salt to taste
· Take your green papaya and cut it up in three or four large slices
· Use a grater (the largest one you can find) and grate all the papaya. You want the grated papaya to be somewhat large in size; about half a pinkie finger thick and about a pinkie finger long.
· Make sure to drain the grated papaya because it can get very watery.
· Mix olive and sesame seed oils, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, chilli, and garlic. Ideally, the lime juice will be half the mixture and ¼ would be olive oil and ¼ will be sesame seed oil. I don’t put exact measurements because it is to your taste, so feel free to be creative with quantities.
· Put the dressing in the salad.
· Serve with peanuts on top. Yum!
If you are a veggie, you can skip the fish sauce; it tastes just fine without it. If you don’t have green papaya, you can replace with red cabbage.