As far as I’m concerned, Jennifer Chong can do no wrong. The girl simply breathes beauty. Whether it’s in the form of a recipe (like this Thai papaya salad – holy yum!) or incredible photography, everything she touches simply turns to gold. So I’m beyond excited to have her here today sharing one of her delicious treats. And I, for one, know what I’ll be making tonight.
From Jennifer… Asian food is my comfort food. I’m Chinese but my parents were both born in Laos, a county that shares similar cultures and food to Thailand. My mom used to always make papaya salad at home and when we went over to a friends house. It was always so spicy but always served with fried pork skins. As a kid I loved the fried pork skin so I’d take little bites of the papaya salad to eat with the salty fried fattiness! Now I love the papaya salad even without the pork skins. When I traveled to SE Asia a few years ago I think I had this every day so delicious.
There are several variations of the papaya salad, sometimes people also add green beans, dried shrimp or crab, but this is how my mom made them. Oh! and I’d definitely recommend a Julienne peeler to cut the papaya, makes it a lot easier! Hope you enjoy.
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- 2 cups of green papaya, julienned
- handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 lime
- 1 garlic
- 1 thai chili
- 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of palm sugar – or 1/2 tablespoon of agave
- optional - fried pork skins
- papaya salad is typically made with a large clay mortar and wooden pestle, you can purchase these online or at most asian markets. traditionally all the steps below are smashed with the wooden pestle (including the tomatoes) if you don't have one large enough, you can use a smaller mortar and pestle for step one or just use your knife to smash the first step as i did.
- Smash garlic and chili pepper
- Add papaya, tomatoes, shrimp paste, peanuts, fish sauce, and sugar/agave –mix well
- Serve with pork skin
PS: you can also download the recipe here
Photography: Jennifer Chong