Thai Culinary Tour: Green Papaya Salad

If we know anything about Thailand, it’s the food. Thai food is a favorite the world over, and our culinary travelers to this land know that Thai food is an indulgent and delicious stroll through the culinary culture of this locale. It’s an exceptional combination of exotic sweet, tangy, and peppery spices, fresh ingredients, and stunning presentation – and most who try it are hooked for life (that includes all of us at Access Trips).

Traditional Thai cooking is taught at home where every mother is a “teacher,” and family recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. Meals are always shared family affairs and are an important part of Thai cultural heritage. While we couldn’t possibly name one Thai food we love the most, it’s fun to reminisce over some of our favorites, especially those that translate so well to our kitchens back home, so today we are looking at the Green Papaya Salad.

Green Papaya Salad

Every eastern Asian country has some variation on this tangy and complex salad. This one is made with unripened papaya fruit – green papaya instead of orange – which is shaved or shredded until it is similar to a coleslaw mix. Perhaps more important than the fruit itself (you could replace it with coleslaw mix, green mango, or shredded apple) is the long list of vibrant ingredients which bring it to completion. Dried shrimp, fish sauce, peanuts, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and peppers all play a role in the dance of flavors.

Because you probably can’t be in Thailand by tomorrow, but might be wishing you were now that we’ve got your culinary engines revving, we’ve included a link to an easy recipe via the New York Times.

If opening this door to Thailand’s cuisine causes you to think a little harder about a trip, contact us today and we’ll help you secure your spot for our Thailand tour, exploring several regions of this wonderful country. Each of our Thai cooking classes is set in a home-style learning environment, with open-air, Thai-style kitchens, surrounded by aromatic herb gardens, orchards, and rice paddies. Our instructors will pass down their family recipes as they teach us about ingredient selection, combining spices into curry pastes, and preparation of full meals of Thai cuisine. And of course, at the end of every Thai cooking class, we will enjoy the incredible feast we have prepared.