Hawaii is a fruit lover’s paradise. From lychees to guavas to mangosteens, one can grow or buy pretty much all kinds of tropical fruits here. One of our favorites is papaya, which is not only awesomely delicious, but is also ranked as one of the top 5 fruits in terms of powerful nutrients. Papayas are chock-full of anti-oxidants and vitamins such as beta-carotene, folate, potassium, Vitamins C, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and have been shown to have many health benefits.
In addition to eating them ripe, papayas can also be eaten green, in a salad. This refreshing and simple Vietnamese recipe is perfect on a hot day, and is very easy to make. The prepared ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes enough for 4-5 people.
· 1 medium sized green papaya (about 1 lb.)
· Several sprigs of fresh sweet basil
· 1 small package Asian style beef or pork jerky (optional)
· ¼ c. soy sauce
· 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
· 1 tsp. sugar
· 1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (optional)
Skin the papaya and shred it into finger-length strips (we use a mandolin to shred, but those of you with advanced power kitchen tools can also use them.) Set shredded papaya aside in serving bowl. Chop basil leaves and place a thin layer of leaves on top of shredded papaya. Use scissors to cut the jerky into shreds and place on top of basil.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and Siracha sauce and stir until sugar is dissolved. When you are ready to eat, pour the sauce on the papaya and enjoy!