As with many of my recipes, I can’t label this papaya salad Vietnamese, Thai or Burmese. I am sure other Southeast Asian countries have their own versions as well. The best name to call it is Ai’s Green Papaya salad. Most Asian cooks tend to stick with the very traditional recipes. Some recipes are handed down by many generations. Frankly, I am not adept at following instructions. I also have never been taught how to cook. My cooking knowledge all came from years of eating experience. I’ve tried all three green papaya salads and like them all, but this version is my own creation and I like it the best.
Instead of using the unripe green papaya you would normally find in Asian grocery stores, I’d seek out for very firm but pink ones at regular supermarkets. I’ve read somewhere that green unripe papaya maybe harmful when eaten raw. Not only that, unripe green papaya has little taste and sometimes has too hard a texture and would require quite a supporting cast to make it pleasant. Firm pink papaya is a much better choice for this recipe.
Using the Magic Bullet, grind the dry shrimp for about 5 seconds, only enough to chop up the shrimp but not into a fine powder.
To make the dressing, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil Sriracha and water in a blender or Magic Bullet and blend for 20 seconds.
Use the mandolin slicer to shred the papaya, red onion and bell pepper into fine strips. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients together except for the peanuts. Drizzle with the dressing to taste and transfer to serving plates. Sprinkle with ground peanuts and serve.