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Green Papaya Pad Thai Recipe


Here's a refreshing take on traditional pad thai. Chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam Restaurant located in New York City, serves up modern comfort food from Thailand. This version of pad thai forgoes the usual noodles and makes use of thinly sliced green papaya. To get the slices you need, a mandolin is most helpful. Just be careful!


*Note: Pickled turnip is sold in jars and is available at Asian supermarkets (it may also be sold as pickled daikon).


For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup tamarind purée or paste
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

For the pad thai

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grilling
  • 4 jumbo (6-8 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 6 ounces green papaya, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-firm tofu, diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon pickled turnip*
  • 2 ounces chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 ounces bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
  • Ground dry red chile pepper, for garnish
  • 1 lime wedge, for garnish


For the sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Set aside.

For the pad thai

Heat a grill over medium heat until hot and coat the surface with vegetable oil. Cook the shrimp until no longer translucent, about 4 minutes. Brush lightly with the sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the garlic and shallot until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute (do not brown). Increase heat to high and add the egg. Break the yolk and stir gently, but do not scramble. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Once the egg is fully cooked, add the papaya and add 3-4 tablespoons of sauce. Stir until the papaya is soft. Add the grilled shrimp, tofu, and turnip and mix well with the papaya noodle. Stir in the chives, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Garnish with a sprinkling of dry ground red chile pepper and lime wedge.