My Famous Papaya Salad. (Lao style)

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Hi Everyone,

So I love to eat papaya salad and just recently have learned how to make it. Anyone who is Lao or Hmong know that making good papaya is a talent which takes skills and time to acquire. The best papya salad are made by aunties and mothers , and no two papaya taste a like.  For a while now I’ve been learning to make papya salad and I think I’ve finally got it, well at least people are willing to eat my papya salad. I know this is not a recipe at all and my diretions maybe very vague but I hope to encourage you to learn how to make papya and not be afriad of doing it. No one is an expert but practice will make perfect. So hopefully you will give it a shot! Good Luck!

What you’ll need:

Green papaya

thai chili peppers


shrimp paste

crab paste

frozen crab in dark sauce



fish sauce


tamarin sauce for soup


Peel the papaya and use a grader to shred the papaya

In a clay pot ( use to churn food)

Add one clove garlic, 4 thai chili pepers ( depend on how hot you like it) and smashed until fine.  Then add about 1 Tbls of shrimp paste, 1 tsp of crab paste and mix with the garlic and pepper.  Chop in small slices of tomatoes about one handful, add 2 Tbls of sugar, half a lime squeeze, 1-2 Tbls of fish sauce, 1 Tbls of tamarin sauce, 1 Tbls of crab legs in dark sauce. then mix it all together until the papaya turns brown. Add ingredients according to taste.

Your first attempt may not be the best but please do keep on experimenting, it is the only way you’ll learn how to cook authentic lao food. Any Lao person knows that nobody’s cooking taste the same. Have fun and don’t get discourage!


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