Spicy Thai Style Cucumber and Pear Salad

I love thai papaya salad. It’s spicy, sweet, tangy, and crunchy– everything that makes a refreshing and tasty side dish. Because green papayas are not your standard grocery store fare, I’ve created my own version using cucumbers and asian pear. Same flavor profile, slightly crunchier texture, what do you have to lose? If you can’t find asian pear, you can sub extra cucumbers or a tart apple.

Serves 2-3

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 persian cucumbers, about 12 oz
  • 1 cup asian pear, cut into matchsticks
  • ⅓ cup cherry tomato halves
  • ⅓ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-4 red thai chilies, depending on your spice preference
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • Mint, for garnish
  1. Mix the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice and set aside.

2. Wash the cucumbers and cut into short strips or slices. 

3. Place your garlic and chilies in a large bowl. Using a pestle, or the bottom of a heavy bottle, smash the garlic and chilies. You are looking to release the flavors of the garlic and release the spice of the chilies, not make a paste. 

4. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. 

5. Add the dressing, stir, and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. 

6. Top with mint and enjoy.