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Som Tam Thai – Green Papaya Salad Recipe

Som Tam Thai - Green Papaya Salad

Som Tam Thai – Green Papaya Salad Recipe

Originally an Isan dish from the northeast, this healthy mixture of raw vegetables is now prepared by roadside vendors all over the country. Som Tam captures the essential flavors of Thailand: chili hot, redolent with garlic and fish sauce, and sour with lime juice. The basic ingredient, unripe papaya, contrasts in texture with crunchy raw beans and peanuts. If unripe papaya is not available, very thinly sliced cabbage may be substituted.

Ingredients :

  • 2-5 bird’s-eye chilies
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp or prawns, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 10 oz (300 g) unripe green papaya, peeled and shredded using a sharp knife or vegetable grater
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) long beans or green beans, cut in 1/2-in (1-cm) pieces
  • 6 ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 1 large tomato, in wedges
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups raw vegetables (cabbage, water spinach, broccoli, asparagus)
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil (horapa)

Method :

  1. Take the chilies, peanuts, dried shrimp and garlic and pound roughly in a mortar and pestle or process very briefly in a blender. The mixture should be coarse, not smooth.
  2. Combine mixture in a bowl with the shredded papaya, beans and tomato Mix well and add the lime juice, palm sugar and fish sauce.
  3. Serve accompanied by other raw vegetables (cabbage, water spinach, broccoli or asparagus) and sprigs of Thai basil. For a complete meal, add glutinous rice and Barbecued Chicken.

Note : Prepare the salad immediately before serving, otherwise the papaya will lose its firm texture.

Serves 4
Preparation time : 30 mins


Source :
Authentic Recipes from Thailand
by Sven Krauss, Laurent Ganguillet and Vira Sanguanwong
photo by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
introduction by William Warren


See also Thailand Cooking “Gaeng som – Sour Seafood Soup with Vegetables Recipe”