The ingredients are the only difficult thing about this. I was in the LA area a few weeks ago for hubby's father's pHd graduation ceremony and we were staying in Anaheim about 15 minutes away from Bolsa Ave. Bolsa Avenue, aka Little Saigon, in Orange County is a great community for Vietnamese immigrants and second generations. It's probably the only place in the States that's better than Houston's Chinatown in what you can find. Most likely due to the fact that LA has the #1 population of Vietnamese immigrants and Houston has the #2 biggest population. Anyway, I took husband's family to breakfast/lunch on our last day there to Quan Hy restaurant. It's one of the places I remember always going to whenever we are in OC because the food is central Vietnamese, where my dad's side of the family is from. After enjoying some mi quang and banh beo, I waddled (seriously, I'm pretty pregnant now, ya'll) over to this store that specializes in Asian beef jerky.
I may have gotten a little carried away. I bought 2 lbs worth of kho bo, or Vietnamese beef jerky. Kho Bo is seasoned with some amazing (and unknown to me) blend of chilies and Asian spices. It's more juicy than American beef jerky. It's been a real treat for me to snack on during work or on the go. I bought one bag of pre-shredded beef jerky. Otherwise, you can just use some kitchen scissors to thinly slice up some. I've read a recipe or too that said you could get away with American beef jerky if needed, but I just don't see how that would work. Stick with the real stuff. You can find packaged forms of this at Asian grocery stores.
The green papaya and green mango I bought at MT Supermarket, my local Vietnamese/Asian grocery store. Green papaya is picked un-ripe and has a totally different taste and texture than regular papaya. I know this because a long time ago, when I was living in Bryan, TX and couldn't get my hands on green papaya, I tried to make this salad with some regular but on the less-ripe side papayas. It was a hot mess. My mom adds green mango as well, which provides a little bit of a texture contrast. Once you have everything, the rest is a breeze. It's a salad basically!
- 1/2 green papaya, thinly shredded
- 1 large green mango, thinly shredded
- 1/4 c. thai basil, rau quế, cut on the bias
- dressing *adjust to taste
- 1/4 c. rice vinegar
- 1/4 c. nuoc mam (fish sauce)
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. water
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced** optional
- Remove seeds/pits and skins of the green mango and green papaya. Carefully use a Japanese mandolin or vegetable slicer/parer/slicer to shred the flesh of the green papaya and green mango. I don't own a spiralizer but that could work, too. I would avoid using a food processor (too much juice is extracted). Patience and a nice sharp knife would be a great tedious task to keep any kitchen helpers out of your way. I'm not talking from experience... *cough*mommy*cough*
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl or platter, toss the shredded green papaya, green mango, and Thai basil. Top with beef jerky and dressing (or serve dressing on the side).
|Green mango and green papaya|
|The tool I use to make the strips of mango and papaya|
|Vietnamese beef jerky|