We first had this sitting on kindergarten sized chairs in a small street cafe in Hanoi old quarter with wail of mopeds horns buzzing by echoing in our ears. The place was so tiny that the owned produced only a handful of dishes, completely fresh, zingy and alongside the street bustle a wonderful assault on the senses.
It can be difficult to source the green papaya that is traditionally used in Vietnam here in the UK but I have found it in oriental supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of it or fancy a change you could also try any crunch veg that can be finely shredded or grated for example carrot, beansprouts, cabbage, cucumber (deseeded), apple, sprouts, courgette, butternut squash, mange-tout, peppers, baby sweetcorn or green mango.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 0
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red thai/birdeye chillies (1 large mild chilli if you prefer less heat), finely chopped
- 100g dried glass/bean thread noodles
- 500g Green papaya, peeled and seeds removed
- 2 spring onions
- 1 green thai/birdeye chillies (1 large mild chilli if you prefer less heat)
- 15g each of Thai basil, Vietnamese Mint and coriander. UK basil and mint are good substitutes.
- 70g beef jerky or biltong
- 1 tbsp roasted, unflavoured peanuts, crushed
Firstly make your dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste to ensure that it has the fine balance of sweet, salt, sour and heat adding more of the required element if needed.
Soak the noodles in boiling water for a few minutes, meanwhile finely shred or grate your vegetables and herbs. Place in a large bowl.
Drain the noodles and add to the bowl with the jerky, peanuts and dressing. Toss the salad until well combined and serve immediately.