(Thai green papaya salad)
Often spelled som tum. Called tam mak hoong in Laos.
- Green (unripe) papaya (see note) -- 1 (about 1 pound)
- Garlic, minced -- 2 cloves
- Thai red chilies, minced -- 2
- Palm or brown sugar -- 2 tablespoons
- Dried shrimp (optional) -- 2 teaspoons
- Lime juice -- 2 tablespoons
- Fish sauce -- 2 tablespoons
- Long beans or green beans, cooked and cut int 1-inch lengths -- 1/2 cup
- Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 1/2 cup
- Roasted, chopped peanuts -- 1/4 cup
- Peel the papaya and cut it in half. Scoop out any seeds and the white coating on the inside of the seed cavity. Using the large holes of a grater or the julienne attachment of a food mandoline, grate or julienne the papaya.
- Add the garlic, chiles, palm or brown sugar, dried shrimp, lime juice and fish sauce to a large bowl and mix together to dissolve the sugar. Taste, and adjust seasonings. You want a nice balance of sour, sweet, salty and spicy.
- Add the beans and tomatoes and stir them into the sauce, pressing down on them lightly to slightly bruise the beans and release the tomato's juice.
- Add the papaya, toss well and adjust seasoning. Garnish with the peanuts and serve chilled or at room temperature with a side of sticky rice.
Som Tam Variations
- Green Papaya: You must use green, unripe papaya for this recipe. Green papayas can usually be found in Asian markets and in many Latin markets. It has a texture similar to cucumber and a lightly tart flavor.
- Other Additions: Try substituting julienne green mango, peeled, grated and squeezed cucumbers, grated carrots or finely shredded cabbage for some of the green papaya if you like.
- Vegetarian Som Tam: Eliminate the dried shrimp. Substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce.
- Some recipes call for tamarind juice instead of lemon juice.