Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Green Papaya Salad (Goi Du Du)

I decided to make a special trip to the oriental market to get all my Vietnamese cooking essentials for the long holiday weekend. One dish that I enjoy immensely is green papaya salad, but I don’t make it often enough due to pure laziness. Unripe Southeast Asian papayas aren’t easy to find and not always available, even at oriental markets. Thai Binh Market is a great place to shop for Vietnamese and Thai essentials. Not only do they have green papayas most of the time, but the store owner will even shred it right there for you if there are none in the refrigerated section. This might be tricky if you come during a busy time or if you don’t speak Vietnamese. Yes, I do have the Thai tool to shred papayas at home, but I’m lazy and shredding isn’t terribly exciting. Cleaning and boiling shrimp isn’t much fun either, so for this recipe, I decided to cheat and picked up some cocktail shrimp at the grocery store on my way home. I like to make this salad whenever I have friends over for dinner because it’s even friendly towards less adventurous eaters. :)

  • ¼ lb shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 6 cups shredded green papaya, rinsed & drained
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup fresh mint, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh Thai basil, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted pistachios to garnish
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 Persian limes, juiced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 bird’s eye chili peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
Boil shrimp, drain and halve lengthwise. For the dressing, dissolve sugar in the boiling water. When sugar is dissolved completely, pour this simple syrup into a small bowl to cool. Once cool, add the lime juice, garlic, chili peppers and fish sauce and stir together. Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss well with dressing. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and sprinkle with chopped pistachios right before serving.

Thai Binh Market
7863 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL