It made me think of what my "favorites" to eat are. Or what would be my last meal on earth? Probably a hard boiled egg and rice - simple, but satisfying.
A "favorite" I can never turn down, however, is a good sweet, salty, papaya salad, Thai or Laos style (both of which are equally delicious in their own way). And what better thing to make in the wake of the waning summer days?
|Thai style papaya salad (photo courtesy of Dragfyre)|
|Laos papaya salad (photo courtesy of Takeaway)|
Papaya salad is very simple to construct. I don't even have a strict recipe I use - everything about this recipe screams laziness and ease of execution. Considering that people like varying degrees of salty and sour, papaya salad can be done the way you like it as well! While easy to make, this salad is extremely versatile and plays well with different textures and tastes.
- 1 whole papaya young shredded (must be green)
- 2 carrots shredded (optional, not a deal breaker if you don't have it)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Handful of green beans, chopped longways (also optional)
- Lime or lemon, 1/2 lime/lemon at a time
- Fish sauce, 1/2 tbsp at a time
- Dried shrimp (optional)
- Fermented shrimp paste (if you want to do it more Lao style), 1/2 tbsp
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved or 2 roma tomatoes sliced
- Peanuts for salad topping
1. Add in shredded vegetables, garlic, green beans, and tomatoes - mash lightly with a mortal and pestle
2. When softly mashed (don't pummel to a pulp), add in fish sauce, lime, and paste - I have them in increments because you shouldn't add a ton on your first try. Instead, get a feel for how you want it to taste, slowly adjusting.
3. Adjust levels of salty (fish sauce, or shrimp paste) or sour (lime/lemon) until happy - I like my ratio to be slightly more salty than sour
4. Eat papaya salad alone, with rice noodles, or on top of a bed of mixed greens/herbs/beansprouts! Top with peanuts for an extra crunch!
Until next time, happy eating all!