This is a very popular dish in the city recently. Tourists come to visit Can Tho can enjoy it on the streets in the center of the city. From restaurants to street food stalls, although they differ in the way of processing, this dish attracts customers as easy to make, easy to eat.
Although the processing is simple, the preparation stages are sophisticated. First of all, people have to choose old papaya, freshly picked, when the pulp is still hard to make tasty and crunchy strands. Cut it in half, get rid of seeds, plane it into strands then soak them in cold water with lemon juice, salt or alum to the eliminate sap and bitter taste. After that, wash them with fresh water and let it dry, then put them into basket and they are ready to be used.
The salad is particularly attractive when combined with shrimp, eggs and pigskin. Shrimps are boiled and then peeled. Pigskin is cut into slices and boiled until cooked under low heat to keep the crispness and toughness without being mushy. Egg is fried with onion and garlic.
When serve customers, they put in the ingredients respectively with papaya strands, shrimps, pigskin, egg slices, and dried shrimps. Then add basils, crushed peanuts and finally pour a few tablespoons of fish sauce mixed with lemon juice, garlic, and chili.
The dish impresses customers by diverse colors of a wide variety of ingredients. The average price for the salad is around 20,000 dong.
The salad will not taste good without sour and spicy fish sauce to accompany. The preparation stages are meticulous. The fish sauce must have enough tastes of the salty sweet sauce, moderate sour taste of vinegar or lemon juice, spicy taste but not too hot of chili. Then, after enjoying, customers just want to sip a little sauce, although still desire to eat more.
When enjoying, customers pick papaya, with pieces of shrimp, eggs, pigskin then dip into fish sauce, tasty but not cloyed. You will be attracted by the harmonious combination of colors of reddish papaya, yellow egg, green basil and a unique taste.
Source: VnExpress - Translated by Ngoc Diep