Atchara is a Filipino recipe of pickled green papaya – Achara is the Philippine contribution to the world of Asian pickles. There are many versions, and virtually any vegetable can be used for making achara. Any mention of achara, though, will most likely evoke thoughts of this type of achara, which uses green papaya.
Literally means “fried sambal”. It is a mix of ingredients including crisp fried shallots, red and green chillies, salt, briefly stir-fried in oil. It can be made into a whole different dish by adding other ingredients, such as in this recipe where green papaya is added. The green papaya sambal is pictured here with fragrant rice and shredded chicken.
Spicy Green Papaya Salad (som tum or som tam) is a popular dish from the North Eastern part of Thailand (the largely rural Isan region) that combines spicy, sour and sweet flavours to make a classic dish. It is often served alongside barbecue or grilled chicken and a portion of sticky rice.
Green papaya salad is claimed as an innovation of the Lao people, which was introduced to central Thailand and the rest of the world by the Lao/Isan migrants moving to Bangkok to seek work. Variations of the dish are found throughout Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and as well as in the West, where it is more commonly known by its Thai name.