Papaya Salad


Vegan Fire & Spice

Published by Vegan Heritage Press

This image courtesy of Robin Robertson

Green papaya salad is refreshing and loaded with flavor. It can be served as a side salad or topped with tofu for a light main course. Omit the red pepper flakes if you don’t want the heat. Vegan “fish” sauce is used in place of the native nuoc nam or nam pla.

NotesVegan “Fish” Sauce

Known as nuoc nam in Vietnam and nam pla in Thailand, this sauce is traditionally used in much the same way soy sauce or tamari is used in China or Japan. I like the extra dimension this sauce gives to a recipe, although, in a pinch, you could get by with substituting a good-quality soy sauce or tamari.

½ cup soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar, or a natural sweetener

¼ cup water

Combine all the ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended. Store the jar in the refrigerator.

Makes about ¾ cup




Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Type of Dishmain course salad, salad


  • 1 large unripe papaya, peeled and shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Vegan “Fish” Sauce (see Notes)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar, or a natural sweetener
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges


  1. Combine the papaya and carrot in a bowl. Add the scallions and hot red pepper flakes. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the “fish“ sauce, lime juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, then pour over the salad and toss until well mixed. Arrange on salad plates and garnish with the cilantro and tomato wedges.


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