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Green Papaya Salad - Goi Ga

Green Papaya Salad - Goi Ga

4 Servings

0:15 Prep

0:10 Cook

Easy - You got this

This recipe was created in partnership with Aurum Poultry Co.

Vietnamese salads are unique as they don’t rely on oil based vinaigrettes but rather a common Vietnamese fish sauce-based dressing that is sweet, savoury and acidic. In this green papaya salad recipe, you’ll find these flavours balanced with crisp green papaya and perfectly poached chicken breast. For added texture and a richer taste, I’ve used Aurum Poultry Co’s cockerel breast.

Growing up, green papaya was considered quite expensive so Mum would opt for the traditional version of this recipe which uses cabbage. You can find my variation of this in my Vietnamese cabbage and kale salad recipe. There are many varieties of papaya but the ideal one for this salad is green papaya. You’ll recognise it by its colour and  because it’s typically quite hard and firm – perfect for grating. There are a few key techniques when preparing the green papaya, poaching the chicken breast and mixing the dressing, that will result in the perfect goi ga.

When grating green papaya, do not get too close to the seed as this part is bitter and will overpower the other flavours in the salad. Soaking the papaya in ice water beforehand will also ensure it is  as crisp as possible. Poaching chicken breast in coconut water and lemongrass will give the salad another layer of sweetness and fragrance. Finally, making the dressing without water will lead to the desired viscous texture. This is often referred to in Vietnamese as ‘sệt’. It may appear as if there is not enough dressing for the salad but as the papaya is mixed-in with the other herbs and vegetables, it will start to sweat and soften due to the natural salts in the dressing.

If fresh and zingy salads are what tickles your tastebuds, grab some cockerel breast and green papaya on your next grocery shop and give this homemade Vietnamese salad a whirl. It will be sure to please and entertain all your family and friends.

Green Papaya Salad - Goi Ga
Green Papaya Salad - Goi Ga


Poached chicken breast:

Green Papaya Salad:

  • 300-400g green papaya, peeled and grated

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 long red chilli, de-seeded and julienned

  • 1 bunch Vietnamese mint

  • ½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots

  • 50g roasted peanuts, crushed

Vietnamese salad dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • ½ teaspoon anchovy salt

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar


How to poach cockerel breast:
1. Wash and clean cockerel breast under running water.
2. In a medium saucepan or small pot add chicken, coconut water, fish sauce, anchovy salt, ginger, lemongrass stalks and water to cover by 2 cm.

Duncan’s tip: poaching with young coconut water will give the chicken a fragrant and subtle sweetness.

3. Bring to the boil then remove from heat, cover and allow residual heat to cook cockerel breast through for 20 minutes.
4. Remove cockerel breast and allow to cool before shredding into bite sized pieces.

How to make papaya salad:
1. Using a vegetable peeler, knife or grater, peel and grate papaya and carrot then place in a large bowl of ice water.

Duncan’s tip: Soaking in ice water will give the papaya and carrot a crunchy texture.

2. To make the Vietnamese salad dressing, crush garlic and chilli in a mortar and pestle then combine with fish sauce, anchovy salt, apple cider vinegar and sugar. Mix well until sugar dissolves.
3. To assemble salad, strain papaya and carrot well and add to a large mixing bowl along with onion, long red chilli, Vietnamese mint leaves, shredded cockerel breast and dressing. Toss well then place onto serving plate.
4. Garnish with coriander, fried shallots, coriander.

Serve alongside dishes such as:
- Pork and Prawn Spring Rolls
- Air Fryer Wings
- Vietnamese Popcorn Chicken
- BBQ Pork with Instant Rice Paper Sheets
- Beef Rice Paper Rolls

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