Sheng’s Green Papaya Salad
Makes six servings
4 cups shredded green papaya (can substitute carrot, cut with a peeler into long strips)
2-4 cloves garlic, to taste
1 to 3 hot Thai chili peppers, to taste
1 to 2 tbsp. fish sauce, to taste
1/2 tbsp. shrimp paste (optional)
1/2 tbsp. crab paste (optional)
1 tbsp. sugar (optional)
Juice and pulp of one lime
5 or more cherry tomatoes
3 cups of shredded cabbage
Remove the papery skin from the garlic cloves, and the stem-ends of the chili peppers; place in a large mortar.
With a pestle, grind together until mushy. Combine all ingredients except the tomatoes and cabbage, turning roughly with a spoon or the hands until all the flavors are mixed, but the papaya strips or carrot still retain their shape.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and mix into the salad.
Put 1/2 cup of cabbage on each of six individual plates, and top with papaya or carrot salad mixture.
Source: Recipe courtesy of Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America by Sheng Yang and Sami Scripter (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).