Chef's CornerDesiree Brassert

Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad

Chef's Corner logoBy Desiree Brassert

This salad is sold as a refreshing snack in the street stalls of Saigon and goes well with beer.


  • One small green papaya—I just ask a neighbor if I can pluck one off their tree!
  • One packet of beef jerky, finely cut with scissors –Jack links have finally arrived in Quepos, but other brands are fine
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts or other nut of your preference
  • Handful of chopped cilantro leaves

Green papaya salad


  • 1/2 cup Fish sauce or Nam Pla
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tbs. Lime juice
  • 1/3 cup Water


  1. Peel and shred papaya so it looks like slaw.
  2. Add dressing and mix well. The salt from the fish sauce will release water from the papaya so drain the salad in a colander after it sits for about 5 minutes.
  3. To serve: place slaw on serving plate, top with jerky, peanuts, and cilantro. Serve with freshly fried shrimp chips* or any other chip for scooping.

*Shrimp chips are found in Asian stores in San Jose. They are tapioca based so free of gluten. When fried in hot oil, they puff out and become crunchy.