Papaya Sunday

Against my better judgement, I went to Wal-mart. On a weekend nonetheless. Our Super Wal-mart has some strange people shopping. I know it’s not nice to judge a book by it’s cover, but some of these people look, and act, scary. It’s not the individual people that scare me away, but the quantity of such folk. This store is always super crowded and impossible to get around the mobs of farmers & college students that make up the bulk of the clientele. School is out for the summer, so this past weekend was a little more bearable.

About 5 minutes into my shopping trip, I discovered there are some great buys! Not only prices (way lower than my normal grocer on same items), but the selection was also decent. They had a whole display of Asian Pears, Mangoes, Coconuts & Green Papayas. Who would have guessed?

Being that I recently discovered Papaya Salad at my local Thai joint, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make it myself!

Here is the papaya (and wacky coconut!) that I brought home, sitting on our new Cost Plus World Market cushions (let’s hope that these don’t fade and get trashed!):

Wal-Mart Papaya

Wal-Mart Papaya

I realized that we had no fish sauce (?!), so had to improvise and make a different dressing with rice wine vinegar, red chili paste, and a few other ingredients.

Papaya is fairly new to me, I certainly have never tackled a whole one on my own. After a little research, I learned it is taboo to use a julienne tool to get it into nice strips. Purists claim to use the hand-method, but this proved too time consuming for me. Plus I have a nice handy, dandy julienne tool so why not? I first cut the (unripe) papaya in half. It was softer than I expected. For some reason I thought it was going to be hard to cut through, like a butternut squash.

Unripe Papaya Cut Open

Unripe Papaya Cut Open

Then I scooped out all the seeds. Laying it on it’s flat side, I peeled the green skin. Next, I julienned the light green-white flesh into nice ribbons. I also had a cucumber & a few carrots in the fridge, and sliced those also. No green beans. 😦 Had to work with what I had. Improvising proved to pay off with a really yummy salad! I was pleasantly impressed on how easy it was to create a fresh, crunchy green papaya salad. Next time, I’ll go for the more authentic flavor of fish sauce & long beans, but honestly I did not miss it.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad is easy and fun to make, and I encourage you to try it if you’ve never had it!

By the way, this is my first foodie blog post. Hello!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Papaya scares me! I had some one my trip to Mexico (at the resort we were staying at) – and it had a sort of stinky feet taste. Do they all taste like that, or did I just have a bad experience?


    • Posted by happyvegetables on June 3, 2009 at 7:23 pm

      Was it ripe (orange) or unripe (white). I’ve only had it unripe, and it is good with a nice crunch. It does have a slightly funky (read: unappetizing) smell, but once mixed with the dressing and everything else I could not smell or taste anything off, only yumminess. Try it at a Thai place… it is usually made SPICY and you can rarely go wrong with that!


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