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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Green Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Whenever I visit Vietnam, I’m always on the lookout for something light and refreshing to combat the hot and humid weather. In the evening during the Summer months, my local aunts and I would finally brave the outside and head to a park in Saigon where young people and love birds come to congregate and eat. There we would find a stump or a small plastic stool to sit on, as we wave down one of the bajillion street food vendors hawking their specialties. One of our favorite snacks is from the Goi Du Du lady, who serves Goi Du Du Bo Kho from the mini restaurant she built on the back of her bike.

 Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

 Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Goi Du Du Bo Kho is a refreshing Vietnamese green papaya and beef jerky salad. It is topped with roasted peanuts, Thai Basil leaves and dressed in a sweet vinegary soy sauce. All the components in this salad create the perfect harmony of flavor and texture.

 Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

The unripe thinly sliced green papaya provides a nice crunch and chew. Thai basil leaves and roasted peanuts provide great aroma, as well as crunch. And the addition of thinly shredded beef jerky provides the savory protein component that is just plain awesome and delicious. Everything is tossed together in small plastic bag and simply handed to you with pair of chop sticks. Eating Goi Du Du Bo Kho straight from a bag, all the while balancing on a flimsy plastic stool are all part of the night time fun in Vietnam.

 Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Vietnamese Papaya & Beef Jerky Salad (Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

I got the beef jerky for this salad in San Jose, CA, where the epitome of all things Vietnamese in California exists. It’s a lot sweeter than the more traditional Western beef jerky. You don’t need this type of sweet beef jerky to make the dish but highly recommended for a more authentic Vietnamese flavor. Enjoy the recipe below. A-peace!

gỏi đu đủ bò khô

Vietnamese Green Papaya and Beef Jerky Salad
(Goi Du Du Bo Kho)

Serves 3

Ingredients

    Vinegar & Soy Salad Dressing

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced red chili (optional)

  • Salad

  • 1 medium unripe papaya (peel and cut into thin strips)
  • 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 cups of thinly shredded beef jerky (Vietnamese/Asian sweet variety)
  • 1 cup roasted peants (coarsely chopped)

Instructions

  1. For the soy salad dressing, add all the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. In a large bowl, add papaya and basil, then top with with beef jerky and peanuts. Add as much or little the soy salad dressing as you like. Give it a quick toss before serving.

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

To live life is to eat tacos. Words spoken by a wise t-shirt and I couldn't agree more.

I love Vietnamese food but once in a while I love me a good taco. What better way to enjoy tacos than making it yourself in a slow cooker and forgetting it for a few hours?

 Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

This pork carnitas recipe is made in a slow cooker for juicy, tender and flavorful Mexican pulled pork. They are perfect for tacos, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, sandwiches and salads ...pretty much anything that could use a little porky goodness.

 Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

Carnitas are made with pork shoulder (also known as pork butt). The pork is seasoned with oregano, cumin and chili powder then popped into the slow cooker to slowly braise in its own fat for about 4 hours. Once the pork is done braising, I shred it then fry it in a pan to caramelize the outside and to get those yummy crispy edges. For my tacos, I serve them in a corn tortilla and top it with cilantro, onions, tomatoes, a fresh squeeze of lime and homemade pickled Mexican jalapenos. Three words. Nom, nom, nom. It's a delicious easy family meal that's perfect for any night of the week.

 Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Carnitas

12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder/butt (trim off excess fat)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion (slice)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peel and smash)
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Marinate pork shoulder with oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, chili powder and cinnamon.
  2. Add pork to a slow cooker. Add water, onion, garlic and bay leaf.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  4. Remove from cooker and chop into small pieces against the grain.
  5. Brown the pork in a large skillet with a bit of oil from the slow cooker. Serve with flour or corn tortillas, salsa and pickled jalapenos.