This is a delicious, crunchy, fresh-tasting salad that is easy to make. The texture is fantastic when the green papaya and carrot are grated as finely as possible – a mandoline with a grater attachment is ideal. Hanh suggests serving the salad on Vietnamese rice crackers – traditionally they’re cooked over a flame but Hanh’s brother Peter found it works incredibly well in the microwave.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- 110 g (½ cup) sugar
- 1 green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded and finely grated
- 2 carrots, finely grated
- 8 cooked prawns, sliced in half crosswise
- 16 thin slices of cooked pork belly
- ⅓ cup shredded Vietnamese mint
- ¼ cup fried shallots
- 4 large sesame rice crackers
- finely sliced red chilli
- beef jerky, broken into small pieces
- crushed roasted peanuts or cashews
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the dressing, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, water and sugar in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Combine the papaya, carrot, prawns, pork, mint and fried shallots in a separate bowl. Pour a liberal amount of dressing over the salad and toss well.
Cook the rice crackers on high in the microwave for 1 minute, or until puffed. Use them as plates, spooning the green papaya salad on top. Garnish with chilli, beef jerky and crushed nuts. To eat, break off pieces of rice cracker and use them to scoop up mouthfuls of salad.