Papaya Salad (Som Tum Thai)
Som Tum is traditionally made using a mortar and pestle (or kloke in Thai).
If you don’t have a kloke, mince the Thai chili and garlic and combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
1 pound green papaya
2 Thai chilies (add more pepper if you want it hotter!)
1 small clove of garlic
2 strings long bean (cut into 1 inch lengths)
1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanut
5 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 teaspoon chopped dried shrimp
1. Cut papaya in half (lengthwise) and remove seeds. Peel the skin of the papaya and shred the flesh using a shredder or knife (the shreds should be thin and long). In a mortar and pestle, pound the chilies and garlic until they’re broken up. Add the long beans and roasted peanuts, pounding only enough to break them up a little bit.
2. Add the shredded papaya, tomato, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and dried shrimp, pounding until everything is thoroughly mixed together. This dish should taste sweet, sour, and a little bit salty, so you may need to add more sugar, lime juice, or fish sauce to get the taste you like. Som Tum is commonly served with roasted or grilled meats, fried fish, sticky rice, Kao Mun Gai (see page 122), and fresh cabbage or lettuce.
Yield: 4 servings