This dish, with the cucumbers, carrots and wakame, resembles something I once had at a Japanese restaurant, but the green papaya is my own addition. I happened to have one sitting around, since I’ve been aspiring to make a spicy Thai papaya salad pretty much since we returned from Thailand. The papaya doesn’t add much in the way of flavor, but it does have a crunchier, firmer texture than the other vegetables. For some reason, I really enjoy the texture of these vegetables sliced into ribbons — it’s more fun to eat that way.
I made these nice, even strips with a julienne slicer — basically, it looks like a vegetable peeler, but instead of a flat blade, the blade has little teeth that slice the strip of vegetable into long strings. You could use any kind of julienne maker, or even a food grater (although most likely your strips won’t be quite as long).
A note about the cucumbers: In Israel, cucumbers are rather small — usually no more than 12-15 centimeters long. If all you have are larger cucumbers, then you’ll probably want to use less than three. I probably would have used about half an American cucumber, for example.
For about 4 servings:
1/2 green papaya
3 small cucumbers (Israeli size)
3/8 c dried wakame seaweed
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice vinegar
1/2 T sugar
Put the dried seaweed in the bottom of the bowl you’ll be using to make the salad. Meanwhile, julienne the vegetables and put them on top of the seaweed — it’ll start absorbing the liquids the vegetables secrete.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar, and toss. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables absorb the flavor of the sauces and the seaweed becomes soft.
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