Som Tam Lao (Lao-style green papaya salad)
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About this recipe:
This is a Lao dish using fermented crab, shrimp and fish to give the salad a pungent urgency. This version of som tam is only for the adventurous.
1/2 green papaya
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
3-4 Thai chillies, or to taste
2 tablespoons gapi (fermented shrimp paste)
1 tablespoon pla laa (fermented freshwater fish)
1 lime, quartered
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons poo dong (fermented crab)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
- Peel and shred the green papaya with a peeler device designed for this task or with a box grater.
- Place the salt, garlic and chillies in a smooth ceramic mortar and pound until well smashed. Add the gapi and pla laa and pound into a chunky paste.
- Add the lime quarters, pound, then add the cherry tomatoes and pound some more, crushing the tomatoes slightly.
- Add the green papaya and poo dong and gently bruise the papaya, working the ingredients together lightly.
- Season the mixture with the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Serve on a platter and pair with sticky rice to sop up the spicy juices from the salad.
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