I was first introduced to this salad about 20 years ago by a Thai friend. I was battling a bad sinus infection and she insisted her papaya salad would give me relief. I heard "papaya" and "salad" and assumed the Vitamin C would be the cure. Um no it was the handful of chile peppers. Sinus infection was gone that day. I'll spare you the details.
She made it quite a bit and when she couldn't get green papaya she would use shredded carrot.
This is one of my favorite Thai dishes of all time. I did cut back on the chiles from her handful. Dried shrimp are found in the refrigerated section of my Asian grocery. They also had bags of shredded green papaya in the produce section. I pounded the dressing in my giant mortar and pestle and added the papaya because that's how she did it.
You can definitely add to this. I suggest green onions, peanuts, carrot, radish or green beans.
Green Papaya SaladGourmet | May 2000
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
6 Thai chiles
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons asian fish sauce
4 tablespoons palm or brown sugar
1 pound grated green papaya
Crush the dried shrimp with the chiles and garlic cloves, then whisk in the lime juice, fish sauce and the sugar. Toss the dressing with the papaya and serve.