First make a quick green papaya pickle by grating the green papaya, half the cucumber and half carrot in a bowl, then squeeze in the juice of two limes, one tablespoon white rice vinegar, and add one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon sugar, combine well, taste (adjust to your liking) and refrigerate. Slice the remaining cucumber and carrot into coin-shaped pieces and set aside.
Make the dressing by simmering a quarter-cup of water or vegan fish sauce (to keep this vegetarian) or half a cup of fish sauce, 2 tbsp palm sugar, two cloves of finely-chopped garlic, two finely-chopped small shallots, and 2-5 birds eye chillies, finely-chopped. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, add lime juice, stir, and taste. Adjust as necessary so the dressing is balanced, then remove from the heat, pour into a serving dish, and set aside to cool a little.
This dish sometimes comes with dried shrimp. Skip this step to keep this vegetarian. Otherwise, soak the dried shrimp now for around ten minutes.
Boil two eggs to your liking. While the eggs are boiling, wash and blanch the bean sprouts then set aside, and wash and dry your mixed herbs and set aside. If you’re using dried shrimp, drain them now and set aside. Peel your eggs, chop them in halves or quarters, and set aside.
Prepare the dried rice stick noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Some brands suggest that the noodles be soaked first, and then boiled before stir-frying; other brands recommend soaking only and briefly stir-frying. When boiling your noodles, take them off the heat just before they are al dente so that they are still firm – if you cook them too long they will be too soft and go mushy when you stir-fry them. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold water so they stop cooking.
Add a neutral cooking oil to your wok and quickly stir-fry the noodles with 1 tbsp soy sauce.
Arrange everything in big bowls: distribute the noodles between bowls, sprinkle peanuts, optional dried shrimp and some fresh herbs on top. Arrange the papaya pickle, bean sprouts, additional cucumber and carrot slices, boiled eggs, and fresh fragrant herbs around the noodles. Serve the dish of dressing on the table with a teaspoon.
Before eating add some dressing and combine everything in your bowl. Enjoy!