I don't recall ever eating a peach in Vietnam. Here, in northern California, peaches are abundant and deliciously sweet in summer. Although I never cared from them much when growing up, I've become very fond of them in recent years. I particularly enjoy white peaches, which have an ambrosial sweetness. This recipe came about when I was chewing on some rau ram (daun laksa) and thought it would be an interesting match with peaches. I was right.
This salsa would be great with grilled fish, chicken, or pork. It also goes nicely with arugula for a quick summer salad. Here it is simply served with Vietnamese sesame rice crackers--banh trang me--which I crisped in the microwave.
As with most salsas, this is quick and easy to prepare, and tastes best the day it is made. You could certainly add more shallots, make it spicier with more chilies, or vary it to your taste. The rau ram should be easily found in Vietnamese markets. It is the herb that makes this a Vietnamese salsa for me.
Vietnamese Peach Salsa
3 to 4 peaches, peeled and diced (I used a mix of white and yellow freestone peaches)
3 TBS chopped rau ram
2 TBS lime juice
1 TBS shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS young ginger, grated or finely minced
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
2--4 thai chilies, seeded and minced
2 kaffir lime leaves, central vein removed, finely minced
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Wait 20 minutes for flavors to meld. Can be made several hours ahead of time, but best served the day it is made.