My family is very fond of this salad, unfortunately we do not have access to good Vietnamese beef jerky in the Midwest. This recipe calls for a specific kind of beef jerky. It's red in color and it's wet not dry like what you would think. My aunt uses the Bach Cuc brand she get from out of state. I recently visited Seattle and notice the same brand at the Vietnamese market in Seattle. Even though it's $10 per package, I just had to get a few bag to bring home. Thai basil is also a must have for this dish, you cannot substitute basil for another herb. You only have to worry about three ingredients; Thai basil, green papaya, and Vietnamese beef jerky.
Hand downs, this is the easiest Vietnamese salad to make. There is literally no cooking involve, except to boil some water to make the sauce. You just prepare all the raw ingredients, cut the beef jerky into strips, and then prepare the sauce. The hardest part to this recipe is making the sauce, it's always the sauce! I've tried quite a few sauces from restaurants and my aunt, and it never quite satisfy my taste buds. So I've experimented a few time and came up with something I like very much and it was well received by my family. I hope you will enjoy this easy and refreshing salad, just in time for summer!
1 green papaya julienned
Thai basil rough chopped
Vietnamese beef jerky
1. Soak the julienned papaya in water. Papaya tend to very slimy, so you'll want to change the water a couple time.
2. Once the the papaya is clean and ready to eat, you'll want to squeeze all the excess water out of it. The best way is to use paper towel to help absorb the water. Place the already squeezed papaya in a clean container.
3. Remove beef jerky from package and cut the jerky in smaller strips.
4. Prepare the sauce, recipe below.
5. Put some already prepared papaya in on a plate, top off with some chopped Thai basil and beef jerky strips. When you are ready to eat add the sauce to your liking, mix, and enjoy!
How to make the sauce:
1/4 cup of water
1-2 clove of garlic
2 tablespoon of sugar
1.5 tablespoon of soy sauce
3/4 tablespoon of rice vinegar
fresh chili or chili paste
1. Crush the garlic with a mortar and pestle (or a knife).
2. You'll want to cook the garlic into the water on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
3. Discard the garlic and just keep the garlic infused water. Remove to a bowl.
4. Add the sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to the water. Mix everything together.
5. Add chili to your liking for some heat.