Som Tum Thai (Papaya Salad)

Som Tum Thai (Papaya Salad)


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About this recipe: This recipe is for a so-called Thai-style Som Tum. In the Northeast of Thailand, where this salad originated, vendors tend to add fermented fish and little pickled rice paddy crabs, so the name refers to big city people, who often don’t have the taste buds for those anymore. ☺

Toi Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon), Thailand

Serves: 4 

  • 4 cups of shredded green papaya
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 or more bird eye’s chilies, according to taste
  • 2/3 cup long beans, cut into 3 cm sections
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • ¼ cup dried shrimps, soaked and pounded soft
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind juice (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar
  • more lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar to taste

Prep:30min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. Combine the tamarind juice (if using), 3 tablespoons palm sugar, and fish sauce in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves. Add lime juice to the cooled mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  2. In a large clay mortar crush the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt. Add the chilies, if using. Barely crush, if serving to spice-sensitive people, crush more, if a spicier salad is wanted.
  3. Add Long beans, pound slightly to break the pods open.
  4. Add tomatoes, papaya shreds, soaked shrimp and seasoning mixture. Pounds lightly but firmly to bring all the ingredients together.
  5. Adjust seasoning to make the salad spicy, salty, sour and sweet, in that order.
  6. Serve immediately.

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