Vietnamese green papaya salad comes in two guises and one of them features earthy beef jerky and heady Thai basil (hung que). The other version of green papaya salad is southern Viet and has shrimp, pork and rau ram herb; the recipe is in Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. A northern Viet favorite, green papaya salad made with beef jerky includes slivers of smoked liver and on occasion, lung too. Both the jerky and liver are a tad chewy, the liver adding a slight minerally quality to the salad. It’s no great shakes.
To dress Vietnamese green papaya salad, you have two options. One is a fish sauce and lime dressing. The other features soy sauce and vinegar. The former yields a salad that is lighter in taste and appearance that the latter. Regardless of your dressing, you can serve the salad pre-dressed or with the dressing on the side.
Another version of this salad is called Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky (Goi Du Du Bo Kho). An important part of this salad is to have the papaya crunchy, and Viet cooks can soak the shredded papaya in a slaked lime-and-water solution. I prefer the old fashioned method of squeezing on the shreds, which renders the papaya dryish so that once the dressing is poured on, the papaya soaks up all the flavors like a sponge.0