Take a Trip to Laos with Henry Moso’s Green Papaya Salad
The talented Orlando chef makes this recipe when Florida's heat just won't quit.
If there’s one dish that Henry Moso thinks of when he remembers growing up in Laos, it’s green papaya salad. As a kid, he’d order it from street vendors, along with charcoal-grilled chicken and sticky rice. Papaya salad isn’t a dish Moso serves in his Orlando restaurants, but he shared the recipe he’ll make for himself, especially to cool the heat of a Central Florida day. There are several keys to making this recipe successful, he says, including using a mortar and pestle, not a food processor, to mix the dressing. You’ll need to source an unripe green papaya. For a true Laotian version, search your local Asian market for Padaek fish sauce.
GREEN PAPAYA SALAD
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 fresh Thai chilis
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon crab paste (optional)
- 4–5 tablespoons Padaek (Laotian-style fermented fish sauce)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate juice
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 unripe green papaya (yields 2 cups)
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
- 1–2 scallions
- Juice of half a lime
PREPARATION: Finely julienne green papaya and soak in water to keep crisp. Cut scallions into 2-inch-long strips.
In a mortar and pestle, smash garlic, sugar and chilis. Add the shrimp and crab paste and mix until ingredients become a paste. Add fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, tamarind and mix. Slice tomatoes in half and gently smash into sauce. Add lime and mix.
Add shredded papaya, carrot and scallions into the mortar. Pound and toss lightly until dressing thoroughly coats vegetables. Adjust seasoning to taste.