thai green apple salad.

One of my favorite activities during the summer and fall months is my weekly father-daughter date at the public market here in town. It was recently named the number one public market in America, and it’s right in my hometown! It’d be a shame not to be a regular. Every Saturday that we are both free, we get up early, head out, and begin our weekends with a cup of coffee, a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich (hold the cheese, please!) from Cherry’s, and away we go. Some weeks are so plentiful that we have to make a trip back to the car to unload during our trip, other days we walk out with nothing but brussels sprout, fresh, hot cider doughnuts and limes! (Ahem, our most recent trip).

No matter our haul, we ALWAYS have a great time – it’s our weekly tradition. On our last trip, we took a quick detour over to the market office, and stumbled upon a table that was offering up samples. The markets holds something called “flavors of the market”, where chefs of all kinds (and home chefs!) cook up a recipe and offer samples to market goers, along with a copy of the recipe. The dish that Saturday was this riff on the popular Thai green papaya salad, using green apples in place of the green papaya. Fresh, bright, and utilizing all kinds of fruits and veggies with an Asian spin? This salad was just calling my name, and with good reason. It’s DELICIOUS.


My dad liked it as well and asked me to make it for my sister’s high school graduation party this past weekend. I did (I doubled the recipe below) and it was a hit! It’s on the spicy side, and it had a kick even when I used just one chile instead of two. So be mindful if you’re making this for a crowd with varying heat preferences. Seeding and removing the ribs of the chile will help with the spiciness of the pepper.


I already had pre-shredded carrots in my crisper so I just used those for the convenience factor, but you can shred your own. Just make sure the apples and carrots are around the same thickness.


All mixed up and ready to be transferred to the serving dish! Which is an aluminum pan in this case. Not my favorite, but I had a random one that needed to be used.

The original recipe called for a tablespoon of dried shrimp, but I could not find any at my go-to Asian market. If you can find it, definitely try it, but I just added a touch more fish sauce and it worked out beautifully. Don’t be afraid of fish sauce. It provides that umami flavor and doesn’t taste at all like liquified fish. Because, ew.


thai green apple salad.
adapted from recipe featured at Flavors of Rochester at the Market.


sprinkle some extra peanuts on top, and you’re good to go! 


1 large granny smith apple, julienned (cut into match sticks)
1-2 large carrots, julienned (I used about 1.5 cups of pre-shredded carrots)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small handful (about 8-10) grape tomatoes, halved
12 oz. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2-1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar (I use coconut palm sugar)
1 thai chile or jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic
zest and juice of one lime
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped


In a food processor, combine grape tomato halves, shallots, fish sauce, sugar and garlic cloves. Close and pulse 3 to 5 times in short pulses (making sure to not continually process). You want the mixture to be coarse and ingredients should still be relatively whole and recognizable. Do not process into a paste/liquid consistency. 

In a large mixing bowl, add trimmed and cut green beans. Using a wooden spoon, gently “bruise” green beans with the wooden spoon, being careful not to break them. Do this a few times. Add in julienned carrots and apples to green beans. Add chopped jalapeño (or thai chiles if you used those instead). Take tomato and shallot mixture from food processor and add to mixing bowl with vegetables and mix to combine. Zest the lime into the bowl (or add zest if you did this ahead of time) and add lime juice.

If you have a mortar and pestle, add peanuts and mash until coarsely crushed. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, this can be done in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Add crushed peanuts to salad.

Add in chopped cilantro and stir to combine. Taste and test for flavor balance, adding more fish sauce or sugar (or lime!) if necessary.

NOTES: 1. I find that the easiest way to cut the apples is to cut them into thin slices, and stacking the slices on their sides, and cutting them into matchsticks that way.

2. Granny Smith apples are necessary in this dish for their sour/tangy flavors. They also stay crisp and do not turn brown, making them ideal for salads.

3. Please use gloves when handling hot peppers. Wash hands thoroughly; olive oil can help with the pepper oil if it comes into contact with skin.



4 thoughts on “thai green apple salad.

  1. I just tried Thai green papaya salad for the first time a couple weeks ago, and loved it! Your recipe looks like it would be especially good for the next potluck at work. Thanks!

    (oh and by the way your food photos are awesome too.)

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