Strengthen Spleen and Counteract Dampness with this Green Papaya Salad

by Travis Metzger |

Strengthen Spleen and Counteract Dampness with this Green Papaya Salad

The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutrition is tremendously healing in nature and remarkably adaptable to individual needs. Based on 3,000 years of study, TCM seeks to treat the whole person rather than just the symptom to support and strengthen your body and your energy, or Qi.

Classically this salad is made using a mortar and pestle to smash, pound and bruise the long beans, garlic, chiles and tomatoes, this is a slight variation on the classic, you should be able to find the ingredients at any Asian market. King crab is a variation on salted crab which can be hard to find, fresh soft shell crab would be great as well! This is the epitome of the perfect blends of hot, sour, salty and sweet - the iconic tastes are delicious and addictive!

Papayas are used as a fruit when fully ripe and as a vegetable, when they are still green and crunchy. Green papayas have higher papain enzyme concentration than ripe ones, especially the seeds. Papain can help your digestive system function better and reduce inflammation. Papayas are rich in fiber, vitamin A, C, and E as well as being an excellent source of calcium, iron, and potassium.

From a TCM perspective papayas are a spleen strengthening Qi tonic that support circulation and counteract dampness.

Chinese medicine benefit

Green Papaya  Strengthens Spleen and Counteracts Dampness
Chinese Long Beans  Strengthens Spleen 
Crab  Counteracts Dampness
Lime  Strengthens Spleen
Cilantro  Strengthens Spleen
Peanuts  Strengthens Spleen


Green Papaya


Long Beans


Green Papaya Salad with King Crab

Serving size
About 5

Prep Time / Cook Time
30 minutes / 10-15 minutes

½ Green Papaya
6-8 Ounces Chinese Long Beans
7 Cherry Tomatoes
¼-½ Bunch Cilantro
3 Ounces Roasted Peanuts
3 Ounces Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Palm Sugar
6 Thai Chiles
3 Ounces Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Shrimp Flake
1 King Crab Leg

Cut long beans into two inch pieces and lightly blanch so still crisp and shock in an ice bath. Slice Cherry tomatoes in half. Rough chop peanuts. Smash palm sugar in mortar and pestle. Mince Thai chiles and garlic. Heat KIng Crab, remove from shell and portion. Peel, remove seeds and grate green papaya into varying length pieces.
Combine fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, Thai chiles, garlic and shrimp flake, stir until sugar has disoved.

Mix together the green papaya, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, crab and long beans.
Combine the fish sauce mixture with the green papaya mixture and toss it around a bit so the fish sauce and lime juice mixture begins to break down the green papaya a little.
Portion the salad on plates and sprinkle with the roasted peanuts and more of the fish sauce dressing.

Ingredients for a Strong Spleen

Dining with Culinary Artist Travis Metzger is an unforgettable experience. You can taste the passion, creativity and culinary expertise in each of Travis’s one-of-kind recipes. Most would agree that Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in their original form taste less than delectable, but Travis has proven that TCM for today can taste great with DAO Labs. Travis develops unique flavors for each DAO formula to complement the proprietary blend of herbs and their health benefits. After extensive training at the New England Culinary Institute, Travis ran some of the finest restaurants across the country before starting his own in Minneapolis. To survive the stresses and physical challenges of the kitchen heat, Travis focused on combining natural ingredients for healthy AND delicious eating and juicing.

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