Are you sort of figuring out how my brain works now? I show you pictures of papaya trees with green papaya, then I present a recipe for Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky). Although, the salad actually came before the papaya. This salad was made back in January.
Green papaya is not sweet, so it's more like a vegetable than a fruit. Very Atkins, low-carb, South Beach Diet-friendly. If that's your thing. There are actually two types of Vietnamese green papaya salad. The kind you see pictured here with beef jerky, and a shrimp and pork version that's a little bit more similar to Thai papaya salad.
You can find kho bo (Vietnamese beef jerky) at most Asian grocery stores, or substitute with a good quality fresh beef jerky. I'm using the jerky I bought from Vua Kho Bo (New Jerky Mfg. Inc.) - San Gabriel. Another option is to serve this with fried liver slices, but that's never quite appealed to me.
You can peel and julienne green papaya for this dish. Or cheat, like I did, and buy some pre-shredded at most Asian grocery stores. :P If you are using fresh papaya, make sure you soak the shredded papaya in salty water for about 15 minutes to remove any lingering waxiness. Drain into a colander and squeeze out excess water before using. You don't need to do this if you buy the pre-shredded papaya as it is already soaking in water. Pre-shredded papaya spoils quickly so make this salad within a day of purchasing it.
Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky)
For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
1 small papaya, about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs, or 1 lb pre-shredded papaya
As much Thai basil as you'd like
As much Vietnamese beef jerky as you'd like
For the dressing, you'll need:
1/4 cup soy sauce, or fish sauce if you prefer
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tblsp sugar
2 tsp chili sauce
If you're shredding your own green papaya, prepare that first and set aside in a bowl of salty water. Prepare the dressing by mixing 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tblsp sugar, and 2 tsp chili sauce. Taste. Adjust if necessary but you want a slightly sweet sauce. Set aside.
Grill the beef jerky over a gas burner like the photo below until both sides are lightly toasted. You can also use a toaster oven, or even a toaster if you're desperate. Tear into small strips. Set aside.
Drain papaya into a colander and lightly press to remove excess moisture. Leave the papaya in the colander to continue draining while you prepare the Thai basil leaves. Remove the basil leaves from the stem. The leaves can remain whole or chiffonade if you wish.
Now it's time to add it all together. In a bowl, add in the drained papaya and basil leaves. Give the dressing a quick stir and pour in about half of it. Toss. Taste. Add more dressing if necessary but you don't want it too wet.
To serve, arrange the salad on a plate. Add the beef jerky strips on top. When you eat, the diner can toss the salad themselves like the photo below. Leaving the beef jerky on top before serving prevents it from becoming soggy.
If you liked this, you might also like my recipe for Goi Xoai Xanh (Vietnamese Green Mango Salad).
You can order this dish at most Vietnamese restaurants. If you're having a big party, I've ordered catering trays from Banh Mi & Che Cali Restaurant in Alhambra for $20. The soy sauce dressing is stored in a separate container and tightly sealed. See pictures of the trays at the family wedding last summer and my dad's 60th birthday party.
Who else made goi du du? Christine of Holy Basil has photos of three kinds of implements for shredding papaya.
Peachy Mango Delight added rau ram (Vietnamese coriander).
I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen celebrating herbs, vegetables, or flowers. If you'd like to participate, see who's hosting next week. WHB is hosted this week by fellow Vietnamese food blogger Anh of Food Lover's Journey.
1 year ago today, my second-youngest uncle's com ga Hai Nam (Hainanese chicken rice).