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Papaya, Shrimp, and Soba Salad


Robust soba noodles pair perfectly with the shrimp, spices, and papaya in this dish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Kate Sears

Source: Body+Soul, September 2007


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 papaya (about 1 pound), peeled, seeds removed, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. In a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water, cook soba noodles until al dente according to package instructions; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together tamarind, sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice, and cayenne. Add drained noodles, cilantro, onion, half the papaya, and all but 3 tablespoons of the peanuts; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over low. Add garlic and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove garlic chips and set aside on a paper towel. Raise heat to medium-high; add shrimp, sprinkle with coriander, salt, and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  4. To serve, divide noodles and shrimp evenly among 4 large bowls; top each serving with remaining papaya, peanuts, garlic chips, and cilantro.

Cook's Notes

If you decide to make this dish ahead of time, add the final papaya and cilantro just before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • BelizeGal53
    20 JUL, 2012
    This was a excellent dish. I tried it out on my family, but it could easily be a meal for guests.... Loved it. Do all the prep work ahead of time and then the actual l.ast minute stuff takes 5- 10 0ver a glass of wine.....
  • Angelalina
    5 MAR, 2011
    yum! This was so tasty and delicious with lots of leftovers. Very different spicy flavor which is what made it so complex, interesting and yummy. My boyfriend said to add this to the collection for sure! :) Couldn't find taramind concentrate in the grocery store so looked up a substitute of lemon and brown sugar instead I think? Worked well
  • ChristinaTrush
    11 OCT, 2010
    are those nutritional figures correct?? it seems awfully high in calories and fat per serving considering the ingredients.
  • Smoothis
    27 SEP, 2010
    I didn't have papaya (I used mango instead), cilantro/coriander, or limes, and I didn't add peanuts. I also only used half the soba noodles as I find them rather filling. It was delicious! Also, I ate only half a serving, and it was more than enough to keep me satisfied (and I usually like to eat a lot!). The portion looked small, but it was the perfect amount. I hope others try this.