A: how to tell if the papayas are green enough? I usually get them at Trader Joes, most recently, the "Caribbean Red" variety. I look for the hardest, greenest ones I can find but they never seem to be green enough in that the seeds are mature and the flesh is pinkish and not as firm as I would like. I end up wasting quite a bit that just mushes instead of shredding nicely. Along those same lines, is holding green papayas in the fridge a valid means of keeping them green or are they one of those things that should never be refrigerated?
B: is there a preferred or more authentic variety of papaya for this salad?
C: what is the prevailing wisdom about timing? I have always dressed and served it immediately or within a few hours, but today I am eating leftovers from last night and it seems like the papaya shreds have gotten firmer and chewier after a night in the fridge exposed to dressing, which I like. I've never seen any directive in recipes about how long to wait before serving. Resting certainly makes sense from a flavor meld point of view.
Interesting and weird, the liquid has formed a gel...?
D: is there really such a thing as pre-shredded green papaya and is it worth buying? I haven't ever seen this, but I will look next time I am at the Asian market.
Thanks for your help. It's one of those dishes I can really never get enough of so I make it at home quite a bit. I could eat a mixing bowls' worth.
Also, if anyone can comment on method/technique...one of the Thai restos we go to serves it with thin slices of jerky-like (deep fried?) sugary beef that is absolutely addictive. How to make?