Papaya Salad, also known as Tam Som in Laos, is a very popular side dish or appetizer found in certain Asian restaurants. It is made with crunchy, shredded pieces of young green papaya mixed with lime, fish sauce, and red chili. A variation of this is the Thai version which has a more distinctive sour taste using more lime.
- Using a large mortar and pestle, add the garlic and red chillies and pound them together.
- Add the shrimp, crab paste, and water. Continue to pound until the shrimp and crab paste are all mixed thoroughly with the chilies.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and tomatoes. Then add the papaya and mix all the ingredients together.
- Taste the papaya salad. If you want it more sour, add more lime juice. For more tangy/flavorful taste, add more fish sauce. For spicier taste,add more chillies. For sweeter taste, add more sugar.
- Serve on a plate and sprinkle roasted, crushed peanuts as garnish.
If you like this recipe, you can also check out Traditional Recipes of Laos by Phia Sing (affiliate link):
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