Recipe: Thai Green Papaya Salad With Chicken, Leah Cohen, NYC

Leah Cohen adds crunchy taro to her spicy papaya salad

When making this green papaya salad by Leah Cohen of New York's Pig and Khao, be sure not to overdress the salad-you don't want all those crunchy bits to get soggy. If you can't find Vietnamese mint, just use regular, fresh mint and increase the amount to ¾ cup.

To learn more, read "Taro Down for What."

Recipe adapted from Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao, New York, NY

Green Papaya Salad
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Learn how to make Pig and Khao chef Leah Cohen's green papaya salad with grilled chicken and crunchy taro chips.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • For the Grilled Chicken
  • 4 cilantro stems
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • For the Scallion Oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ⅓ cup scallion oil
  • 4 Thai chile peppers, thinly sliced
  • For the Papaya Salad
  • 1 cup canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup julienned taro
  • 4 cups (about ½) medium green papaya, julienned
  • 1 cup (about 2 small) carrots, julienned
  • ½ cup mint leaves, torn
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup crispy shallots
  • ⅓ cup chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts
Optional Ingredients
  • ½ cup Vietnamese mint (optional)
  1. Make the grilled chicken: In a blender, combine all the ingredients, except for the chicken, and purée until smooth. Season the mixture with salt and white pepper.
  2. Place the chicken and marinade in a bowl, then cover it and chill for at least 2 hours or preferably, overnight.
  3. Make the scallion oil: Prepare an ice bath. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and salt and remove the pan from the heat. Once the oil stops bubbling, pour it into a bowl set over the ice bath and cool. Once it is cool, strain the oil through a fine-mesh strainer and set it aside.
  4. Make the dressing: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and whisk them well.
  5. Make the papaya salad: Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess marinade to drip off. Set the chicken on a plate, and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  6. While the chicken is resting, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup canola oil with the taro. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the taro until it's crisp and deep, golden brown, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the taro and place it on a paper towel-lined plate; season it with salt and set aside.
  7. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Working in 2 batches, grill the chicken until it is lightly charred on the bottom, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip it and cook it until the other side is charred and the chicken is cooked through, for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it thinly.
  8. Assemble the papaya salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the papaya, carrots, herbs, peanuts and grilled chicken slices. Add ½ cup of the vinaigrette to the bowl, and toss it to coat the salad. Do not overdress the salad. Once the salad is evenly coated, add ½ the taro and toss it. Garnish the salad with the remaining taro and crispy shallots.
Calories per Serving 1,212
Total Fat 107.5 g
Saturated Fat 20.6 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 106.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
Total Sugars 23.4 g
Sodium 1,567.2 mg
Protein 29.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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