Make Ahead

Shrimp and Papaya Salad

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
  • Serves Two
Author Notes

This recipe was inspired by my Aunt who had a similar salad during one of her stays in Hawaii. She likes to have bread slices with it to soak up the delicious sauce that is made by juicy papaya and the dressing on the shrimp. I like this recipe because it is such a beautiful contrast of salty with sweet and not only that, it is a nice healthy salad that is quite filling and therefore perfect for a quick lunch. By adding the papaya seeds, not only do you get a nice peppery flavour, you are reaping their nutritional benefits. Papaya seeds have are known to have compounds that kill parasites as well as containing antioxidants. They also have an antibacterial and anit-inflammatory effect on our digestive systems. I like to freeze the seeds and keep them for other salad dressings and uses. —Dawne Marie

What You'll Need
  • 1 small or medium papaya
  • 40 small shrimp or 12 large chopped roughly
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1.5 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon papaya seeds (or 1/2 tsp if you like it peppery)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  1. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, reserving them in a separate bowl.
  2. Blend the mayo, ketchup, papaya seeds, tarragon, salt and white pepper in a Cuisinart or mini blender until the papaya seeds are finely ground up. Let stand half an hour or overnight.
  3. Cook, de-shell and remove the tails of the shrimp if need be and put in a large bowl. I like to use uncooked shrimp so that I can ensure they're not overdone. If using large shrimp, chop into bite size pieces and keep refrigerated until the dressing is ready.
  4. Once the dressing has had time to rest, toss the shrimp and the dressing together and add salt and white pepper to taste if needed. Using the papaya halves as bowls, divvy up the shrimp between the two halves and eat with a spoon.
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2 Reviews

Emilia R. July 31, 2013
Wow, living and learning: papaya seeds used as condiment! My mother (in Brazil) used to eat papaya almost every day. (It helps with a certain, er, intestinal problem, which she was prone.) She also used to eat (just swallow, not chewing) some of the seeds, which, according to her, gave it a boost. She is unfortunately dead, so I won't be able to share this with her, but I'll certainly try it. Sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing, Marie!
Dawne M. September 15, 2013
Thanks Mrs K! I was pleasantly surprised too when I found that out and thought I'd pass it on. Hope you enjoy it!