Break Out of Your Winter Veggie Rut with Green Papaya Salad

Fight the winter salad doldrums with Selamat Pagi's recipe for this sweet-spicy dish.

It’s the bitter end of winter, and if you’re like us, you’re growing a little weary of the leafy green salads you’ve been making the last few months in an effort to eat healthy. So we borrowed some salad inspiration from Selamat Pagi (“good morning” in Indonesian), the veggie-centric restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn from the team behind Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.

Selamat Pagi showcases vegan and vegetarian dishes, and also has a smattering of menu items with carefully-sourced meat and seafood. (Think Sambal Deviled Eggs, Spicy Laksa Soup, Pumpkin Coconut Curry, and grilled fish with served in banana leaves. Plus housemade tonics and cocktails made with fresh fruits and herbs.)

Every dish is bursting with flavor from ingredients like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, turmeric and chiles, which are guaranteed to perk up dull winter taste buds. And their Green Papaya Salad with Turmeric-Lime Dressing (recipe follows) is no exception.

The raw veggie dish (okay, papaya is technically a fruit, but it’s often used green/unripe and treated as a vegetable in Indonesian and Thai cuisines) is layered with crunchy texture and bold sweet- spicy-tangy flavors — perfect for anyone suffering from leafy green salad ennui.

To maximize the flavors of the dressing made with tamarind paste, Thai bird chili, turmeric, tamari and lime juice, Selamat Pagi’s executive chef, Mateusz Wlodarski, shares a restaurant trick: use your hands to break up the papaya as you add it to the bowl so it soaks up as much of the flavor-packed dressing as possible.

Green Papaya Salad with Turmeric-Lime Dressing


10g fresh garlic

4g green Thai bird chili

7g tamarind paste

60g water

50g white sugar

17g canola oil

30g shallot oil

4g fresh turmeric, peeled 

83g tamari soy sauce

27g fresh lime juice

27g rice vinegar

2g kaffir lime leaf

Place all ingredients in a blender and run on high until smooth and emulsified. Yields 1pint.

Papaya Salad

1-2 green papayas, julienned

5-6 colorful carrots, julienned

1 small English cucumber, sliced

1 watermelon radish (or other type of radish), thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, crushed

Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Add about ¼ of the dressing to a large mixing bowl. Add papaya, crushing the fruit with your hands as you go to break the fibers and allow dressing to absorb.

Add the carrots, cucumber and radishes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine. If desired, add more dressing and seasonings to taste.

Top with peanuts and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Selamat Pagi

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