Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
Green Papaya Salad is one of the few dishes that Thai people will eat without rice. Usually it is eaten as a light lunch, or a social snack. It is the perfect dish to be eaten in the Western World in the same way. Low in calories and fat, high in nutrition and incredibly delicious. Prepare with fewer chillies if you want an easy to eat, tasty alternative to a traditional salad.
There is a variation of Green Papaya Salad, named Som Tum Thai, which does not include any Pla Ra, and this is often preferred by tourists visiting Thailand, as Pla Ra is something of an acquired taste.
- 3 tablespoon Palm Sugar
- 2 tablespoon of Thai Fish Sauce
- 8 Bird Eye Chillies
- 1 Thai Green Papaya
- 4 cloves of Thai Garlic
- 2 tablespoons Small Dried Shrimps
- 10 Thai string Beans (cut in 1-2 inch segments)
- 8 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 Carrot (julienned)
- 2 Limes (cut and ready to juice)
- ¼ cup Roasted Unsalted Peanuts
Prepare the ingredients as suggested above. Shred the green papaya with a miracle knife or with a regular cheese grater with large sized holes. Discard any of the green papaya seeds.
Traditionally in Thailand green papaya salad is made using a clay mortar, wooden pestle and a spatula. Pound the garlic and chillies to a paste. Add the dried shrimp, peanuts and long beans and pound to bruise.
Follow with the green papaya and carrot. Stir well with a spoon/spatula and pound to bruise the vegetables so that they absorb the heat and flavour of the chillies and garlic.
Add the lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar. Stir and pound a bit more to blend the vegetables with the flavourings and seasonings. Then add the tomato pieces, stir and bruise lightly to blend in with the rest of the salad.
- Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with Thai sticky rice.
Vegetarian's Tip: For a vegetarian option, omit the dried shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce.