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Pepper's Corner: Papaya Salad

Pepper's Corner: Papaya Salad

This Papaya Salad is like a window to my soul. It's represents both my Thai roots and love for cooking. My mom can whip this up out of thin air. Seriously, she just materializes the ingredients and suddenly there is a delicious, perfectly diced, spicy, flavor bomb of a salad waiting for you. Her chopping technique is not for the faint of heart. Somehow, she has all of her fingers. Please exercise caution! I wouldn't be able to count how many times a year we eat this. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



  • 4-5 garlic cloves

  • 3-4 dried Thai bird chilis (or dried chiles de arbol)

  • 5 (ish) cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4-5 lime wedges

  • 1/2 firm tomato, cut into wedges

  • 4-5 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste)

  • 1/2 green (unripe) papaya, peeled and shredded (2-3 cups)



  1. Mash garlic cloves and chilis. Add more chilis for more spice!

  2. Add halved cherry tomatoes and lime, palm sugar and fish oil. Continue to mash.

  3. Mix in chopped papaya and give it a final mashing. (I love eating this with a side of pork rinds!)



Through these 80 recipes, Pepper teaches you how to make all her hits––influenced by Thailand, California, and everywhere in between. No one loves this book more than Chrissy: “I’m SO proud of Yai and all of the hard work she put into making this book come to life. It has all of my favorite recipes that mom used to make for us growing up, like chicken satay and papaya salad, as well as modern twists on classic Thai food like pad thai Brussels sprouts and nam prik moo sloppy joes!

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