Neighborhood Kitchens

Simply Khmer's Bok-Lo-Hong

This sweet, sour, and spicy salad is eaten in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. To serve this salad, garnish your plate with a small piece of cabbage, a large piece of lettuce and a generous amount of basil. Scoop the salad with pieces of cabbage, place a plentiful amount of your papaya salad onto the place, and top off with a basil leaf!  Enjoy! 


1/2 green papaya
1 garlic clove
1 fresh chili
1 tsp. tamarind powder
1-1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
1/2 tomato
1/4 lime
2 tsp. fish sauce
Large lettuce leaf
Small piece of cabbage


Prepare Papaya
Take the 1/2 green papaya and use a spoon to remove all of the seeds. Once seeded, completely peel the papaya. Using a hand-shredding tool, shred the papaya lengthwise.

Prepare Papaya Salad
Place the garlic in a mortar and crush it with a pestle. Remove the stem of the chili and add it to the mortar. (Tip: keep your face as far as possible while you crush the chili, as it might splash up.) Add the tamarind powder, sugar, and shrimp paste to the crushed garlic and chili. Mash and mix everything with the pestle.

Roughly chop your tomato. Add it to the mortar and mash the ingredients with the pestle. Add your shredded papaya to the mixture and continue to mash.

After about a minute of mashing, squeeze the lime and add the fish sauce to the mixture. Continue to mash. Using a large spoon, mix the ingredients in the mortar until everything is equally mashed.

Garnish your plate with a small piece of cabbage, a large piece of lettuce and a generous amount of basil. Place a plentiful amount of your papaya salad onto the plate.

Serves: 2


Sam Neang and Denise Ban are the chefs and owners of Simply Khmer, a Cambodian restaurant in Lowell, Mass. They shared this recipe with us when they were featured as our guests on Neighborhood Kitchens.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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