8 cups finely shredded green papaya, one large.
 
2 large carrots, finely shredded
 
1 lb pre-cooked prawn, preferably grilled over a hardwood charcoal grill.
 
1/4 cup chopped mint
 
1/4 cup rau ram
 
1/4 cup cilantro
 
1/4 cup thai basil
 
1/4 cup toasted peanut halves
 
Dressing:
 
1/4 cup fish sauce
 
1/4 cup lime juice, reserve zest for garnish
 
1/4 cup rice vinegar
 
1/2 tsp sesame oil
 
6 tbs sugar
 
2 tbs light soy
 
2 minced thai chiles
 
1 clove minced garlic

Goi du du

baby red pepper co. 2/8/16
 
Goi du du is a traditional Vietnamese salad featuring shredded green papaya and a protein. Dressed in a salty, sour, sweet dressing of fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice and sugar, the salad is garnished with ample sprays of cilantro, mint and rau ram ( also called Vietnamese coriander).
 
The purported health benefits of unripe papaya are extensive. Green papaya contains two important enzymes, chymopapain and papain, that have digestive system benefit, improving ph conditions and aiding in the breakdown of proteins and nutrients. Many of the claims about green papaya's health benefits are well -documented, and confirmed in study after study.  And well, it just tastes so damn good.
 
If you travel in Vietnam, you'll find versions of goi du du all over the country. .. from upscale urban restaurants in Saigon (I refer to it as older Saigonese do), Hue and Hanoi to the ubiquitous store and house-front stalls lining the streets and highways. My favorite version came from a place overlooking the town center in DaLat, I recall as Cao San Vuon. There the protein is optionally grilled prawn or a heavily marinaded beef jerky and the dressing was especially tart-peppery.
 
Following  is my spin on goi du du. Pile on the garnish.
 
A word of caution about green papaya. Enzymes in green (as opposed to ripe) papaya may cause complications in women who are pregnant. Green papaya is also not suggested for those with blood clotting issues. Finally, green papaya is know to be a rare allergen and you particularly  want to be wary if you have a latex allergy.
picture to come
  1. Wisk together dressing ingredients an hour or so beforehand. Allow the chile and garlic time to infuse the dressing with their flavors.
  2. Shred papaya and carrot throught the a box grater, or use a hand peeler with a shredding attachment. You are looking for pencil lead thin strings about 6 inches long.
  3. Mix greens, herbs and prawn or other protein together in a large bowl.  Toss with dressing and let sit 15 minutes so the papaya absorbs some of the dressing.
  4. Portion and scatter with peanuts, thin sliced thai peppers and lime wedges.