So I’ve been meaning to post this recipe – I first made it when I got my mandolin slicer for Christmas (!!). But with summer just around the corner, weather in the 90’s forecasted this week, and lots of available, fresh produce, I decided that now would be the perfect time to share such a refreshing recipe.
Green papaya (unripened papaya) is shredded, and tossed with a salty-sweet dressing, and topped with fried shallots, beef jerky, and crushed peanuts. This dish comes originally from Laos, but I’ve been familiarized with it through my Vietnamese mother.
It’s helpful to have a mandolin to shred the papaya quickly. Also, any beef jerky will work (I prefer spicy), and you can find green papaya at your nearby asian grocer. Most western grocery stores DO carry papaya, but sometimes even though it looks underripe, it’s not. It’s best to go to an asian grocery to eliminate any doubts.
Green Papaya Salad (Vietnamese Style)
- shredded green papaya
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup white sugar OR agave nectar (or any neutral, dissolvable sweetener)
- 1/2 cup beef jerky, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup thai basil (or regular basil), sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts, or more to garnish
- sliced serrano or jalapeno peppers (optional)
Shred the green papaya with a mandolin or knife into fine strips. Place in a colander and toss with a pinch of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to remove sliminess and some of the excess water. Rinse, and pat dry. In a seperate bowl, mix the fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, water, and sugar until all are dissolved.
Toss the papaya, dressing, basil, half the beef jerky and half the peanuts in a large bowl just before serving. Put onto a large plate, garnish with the remaining peanuts, beef jerky, and optional peppers. Serve immediately!