Papaya, Shrimp, and Soba Salad

Photo: Kate Sears
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

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


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 8 ounces soba noodles

  • cup tamarind concentrate

  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

  • ¼ cup light olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • ½ 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

  • ½ cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • ½ 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.

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