Gohu is a popular green papaya asinan from East Indonesia, to be exact Minahasa (North Sulawesi). Asinan is very similar to acar or another name for pickle in Indonesia. As other Minahasa foods or better known as Manado, gohu is spiced up with lots chilies. Gohu can be kept in the fridge for a longer time.

Green papaya is quite common to be used in Southeast Asian cooking. For the next 3 posts, I’m going to represent 3 different green papaya salad from Southeast Asia. This gohu is the first post which represent Indonesia. The next one will be is Gỏi đu đủ; a Vietnamese green papaya salad. The third one will be is Som tam; a Thai green papaya salad.

You will see the difference between three of them once I post all these three salads. They contain two same ingredients, green papaya and fermented fish product. Briefly, I summarize the difference
– Gohu is enriched with bakasang (read: baa kaa saank). Bakasang is made from skipjack tuna (cakalang) guts or fish egg. It’s similar to Shiokara (Japanese fermented fish product made from squid or guts of skipjack and other species). Due to lacking of bakasang access, I have to substitute it for terasi (dried shrimp paste).
Gỏi đu đủ is enriched with fish sauce.
Som tam is added by a combination of (terasi) dried shrimp paste and fish sauce

I recommended to have a julienne peeler that can be bought through amazon.com. I got mine at one of Asian stores in town.

Gohu Minahasa
– Minahasa Green Papaya Salad –

½ green papaya (about 400 grams or 14 oz)
200 milliliter nypa sap vinegar (cuka aren)*
200 milliliter water
100 grams (3.5 oz) raw canesugar

Spice paste:
7 bird eye chilies*, cut
1 teaspoon seasalt
2 shallots, peeled and cut
4-centimeters (1.5-inches) long ginger root, scrapped and cut
½ teaspoon bakasang* (can be substituted for ¼ teaspoon roasted terasi or belachan)
½ teaspoon seasalt


Peel the skin off and cut into julienne. Wash and soak in a cold water meanwhile you grind the spice.

With a mortar and pestle or food processor, pound/grind chilies, shallot, ginger, bakasang/terasi and seasalt.

In a pot, add water, sugar, and spice paste. Bring a boil. Remove from the heat and cool off. Add nypa palm vinegar. Combine. Now you have the spiced vinegar mixture.

In an air tight jar, add julienned papayas and spiced vinegar mixture. Keep it in a fridge and let it sit for 3 hours or so before you enjoy your gohu.

Cook’s Note:
* I like using Filipino spiced vinegar that can be used for substituting the nypa sap vinegar.
* The amount of chilies can be reduced to your comfort zone.
* For vegans or vegetarian, you can omit the bakasang or terasi or belachan.  Bakasang is a fermented fish cavity and uses in many Minahasan (North Sulawesi aka Manado) cooking




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