Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mom's Maine Lobster and Papaya Salad (serves 4 people)


When I think of salads this is what comes up in my mind.  I grew up eating Teochew and Vietnamese cooking.  Most of the salads are Vietnamese style and they are typically made from green papaya, green mango or cabbage. Sometimes a meat, chicken or fish/shellfish dish is served with a plate full of a fresh assortment of herbs, sliced cucumber, tomato wedges or slices, bean sprouts, and lettuce. My mother, Khém often purchases a large bucket full of lobsters from her fisherman friend and she makes all sorts of wonderful dishes with them.  Here is a simple, fresh and healthy dish that she made, you can easily prepare this at home.

Ingredients:

1 large (2-3 lbs) green papaya, shredded
2 medium size carrots, peeled, shredded, washed, and squeezed out water
1 1/2 C thinly sliced cooked Maine lobster meat
1 1/2 C thinly sliced boiled pork
1 C herbs (Thai basil and Vietnamese coriander), chiffonade
1/2 C roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
Vietnamese dipping sauce with or without hot chili pepper

Method:

1) On a large platter or dish arrange the shredded papaya, carrots, lobster meat, pork, and herbs.
2) When you are ready to eat, serve a portion of the salad on an individual plate.
3) Drizzle the top of the salad with some dipping sauce to your taste.
4) Mix the contents well and sprinkle roasted peanuts on top of the salad.

Maine lobsters and a crab
cooked lobsters
home-grown Thai basil
sliced boiled pork and lobster meat
soak, wash the shredded papaya/carrots,
and squeeze out excess water
with your hands
an example of one of my mother's
typical home-cooked meals

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