Keyword: green papaya, som tam, som tam thai, spicy salad, thai papaya salad
Prep Time: 15minutes
Total Time: 15minutes
Author: Phasinee Doddeo
A spicy, sweet and savory salad made from papaya before it is ripe. Mixed in with tomatoes and traditionally peanuts all tossed together with chiles and garlic and savory sauce to coat the shredded papaya.Often eaten with a slice of raw cabbage which goes together remarkably well and also works to cut down the spice from the chiles. This recipe is made in an earthenware mortar with a lightweight pestle to avoid over pounding the ingredients.A classic basic Thai Som Tam which forms the basic principle for a host of spin-off recipes adding a protein such as prawns or seafood, or making with fruit such as pomelo.
Fresh vegetables to eat with Som Tum ThaiLettuce, tomato, raw salad cabbage, spring onions, a slice of lime, extra peanuts & diced chili are all good
Wash vegetables, papaya, carrot and set aside. Peel the papaya skin with a potato peeler and scrape or peel the outer carrot skin and cut off the ends.
Shred the peeled papaya and carrot using a shredding tool to the given quantity and set aside.
Cut off the ends of the long green beans and cut the main bean into 2-inch strips and set aside.
Pound the chili and garlic in an earthenware mortar first, then add most of the long green beans. Just crush them roughly to release the flavor and fragrance. You are not out to pulverize!.
Be sure to use minimal chili if you are not used to spicy food - increase once you feel comfortable to do so. Even one chili may be enough for a person who has never really eaten spicy food.
Then season with palm sugar, fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegetarians), tamarind juice, lime juice and mix together still in the earthenware mortar.
Add the tomato, remaining long green beans, shredded papaya and carrot and gently mix them together with the pestle and a spoon.
TASTE IT. Adjust the taste by adding more chili if you want more spice, more sugar for sweetness, more tamarind and/or lime juice for fruity sourness and fish sauce for salt. If using soy sauce you may want to add finely ground salt rather than too much liquid as soy sauce is much less salty than fish sauce.
Using an earthenware or wood mortar for Thai papaya salad is best because the ingredients do not get so crushed.
Do not crush papaya to long because papaya won't be fresh and crispy - you'll want to serve it immediately.
When you add the seasonings and especially fish sauce, do not add too much at first. Taste and adjust gradually in small increments - you can't take salt out!
To keep papaya crispy and fresh longer, after shredding, soak into freezing cold water or add ice and refrigerate while doing the pok pok (Thai phrase for pounding with the mortar and pestle)
Som Tam Thai Recipe - Quick & Easy Thai Green Papaya Salad - Thai Street Food Recipe
Please be frugal with chilis until your are confident using them. Chilis vary enormously in the level of spiciness - the small ones tend to be the hottest.Please be frugal with fish sauce. The saltiness varies much with the brand you use but it is universally a very salty liquid. You can always add more later.Keep the shredded papaya and carrot in the fridge immediately after shredding along with hlaf a dozen ice cubes. Drain off any water and ice before adding to mix.Serve with a slice of crisp cabbage - the taste amazingly helps take off the fire from the chilli. This is often served up with ice as well in Thailand and eaten with sticky rice.Feel free to add in a few prawns, some seafood or other protein if you fancy and let me know if you enjoy this dish once you make it.