The papaya salad is like a little story of my life. I have been eating this dish since I was a little boy, not to say baby: at family dinners, at weddings, even at Christmas. Okay I’m exaggerating a little bit but it’s almost that.
I remember my childhood when after eating it I had runny nose, tears in my eyes and the stomach burning. Besides it happened very often. In the Laotian families it is not one red chili pepper you put into the salad but at least dozens! When my mother put two red chili peppers in the dish my brother, my sister and I find it too spicy already. So imagine the result when you put more chillies in it! “It is not very spicy this time.”, my mother always said. The ritual was always the same. My mother was preparing the julienne papaya with a knife and then mixed the ingredients in a mortar. For the julienne I use a knife and peeler, some use a specific peeler to julienne. Each one has its technique. When the salad is ready we have it in general with sticky rice, accompanied with meat. Personally I love to have it with grilled pork. A delight.
– 1 green papaya
– 1 carrot
– 1 tomato
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 red chili pepper (or more if you like spicy food)
– 1 lime
– 1.7oz of fish sauce (nuoc-mâm)
– Sugar (1 tablespoon)
– Julienne papaya and the carrot.
– Cut the tomato into slices of 0,8po width.
– Crush the garlic and the red chili pepper in a mortar.
– Add the papaya, the carrot, the tomato and then the seasoning.
– Mix everything together.
And now it’s ready. Enjoy your meal !