Is there a substitute for green papayas in green papaya salad?
The papayas in U.S. supermarket are not the same, even if you use them green.
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The "key property" of the papaya and the reason why it is used is its texture: crunchyness. I think you can use anything else that is crunchy and has a quite neutral taste, like cucumber peel, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, young lotus stalks (like the ones in this receipe, not these), or unripe mango. I had them in salads similar to the green papaya salad and found that these ingedients are quite neutral in taste.
It seems there are a few options for you.
This recipe recommends:
But, if you don't [have] a green papaya, try substituting shredded cucumber, carrot and daikon radish.
Another recipe notes the possibility of using:
You will probably have to go to Chinatown to find green (unripe) papaya. Alternatively, substitute a crisp vegetable such as jicama or celery.