Nom du du bo kho (Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky Recipe)

Published:  10:25 Tuesday - January 03, 2012

Nom du du bo kho (Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky Recipe)

Nom du du bo kho (Green papaya Slad with Beef Jerky) is not only eaten in daily meal but also one of the most favorite snacks and sold in many restaurants and street vendors.

Vietnamese green papaya salad comes in two guises and one of them features earthy beef jerky and heady Thai basil (hung que). The other version of green papaya salad is southern Viet and has shrimp, pork and rau ram herb. A northern Viet favorite, green papaya salad made with beef jerky includes slivers of smoked liver and on occasion, lung too. In Hanoi's Old Quarter, I recall a little street full of green papaya salad vendors. 


Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

2 tablespoons regular (light) soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Sriracha hot chili sauce, or 1 or 2 Thai or serrano chiles, finely chopped

1 green papaya, about 2 pounds

1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 ounces homemade Vietnamese beef jerky or Asian-style beef jerky, cut into strips with scissors to match papaya pieces (about 1 cup total)

1/4 cup shredded fresh Thai basil leaves



1. To make either dress dressing, in a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves. If guests are chile heat sensitive, leave the Sriracha out and serve some on the side. Set the dressing aside to develop the flavors.

2. Peel the papaya with a vegetable peeler and then cut off the stem. Halve the papaya lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise into quarters, and then use a knife (or grapefruit knife or melon baller) to remove the thin white layer lining the cavity. Using a Japanese Benriner slicer or a food processor fitted with the largest shredder blade, shred the papaya pieces. Aim for thin strands about 1/16 inch thick, no more than 3/16 inch wide, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches long (about the size of the shredded mozzarella you put on a pizza).

3. Put the shredded papaya in a colander, add the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and use both hands to massage the sugar and salt vigorously into the papaya. After a few minutes, the papaya will be a little slimy and limp yet still firm. At that point, rinse it under lots of cold running water to remove the salt and sugar.

4. Working in batches, wring out excess moisture from the papaya in a nonterry dish towel: position a mound of the papaya in the center, roll it up in the towel, and then twist the ends in opposite directions to force out the liquid. Do this 3 or 4 times. You want to extract enough water from the papaya yet not completely crush it. Transfer the papaya to a large bowl and fluff it up to release it from its cramped state.

5. Just before serving, add the beef jerky and Thai basil to the green papaya and toss to distribute evenly.

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