Monday, 07 May 2007

Green papaya salad (Som Tam)

This salad can be found pretty much anywhere in Thailand, often with slight variations (mostly including the addition of small black super sweet crabs, or the most foul smelling fermented fish you've ever had the misfortune of gagging over). Despite this, the regular version (sans rotting seafood) is quite delicious, and contains all four elements of Thai cooking : sweet, sour, salty, spicy)

Ingredients :

1 cup shredded green papaya (you could use the firm part of a cucumber, or shredded cabbage as well)
Chilli - 2 for "farang medium spicy" 5 for "holbrand thai spicy"
2-3 small peeled garlic cloves
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp palm sugar
1/3 cup of chopped long beans (as long as their furry texture doesn't give you the heebies, like it does for me)
1 tomato chopped into about 6 peices
2 Tbsp dry roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp fish sauce
pinch of salt

Put chilli and garlic into mortar and crush, but don't make into a paste. Add beans and pound them till they are broken. Add other ingredients (excl papaya) and make sure sauce is mixed. Add papaya, and mix with pestle and spoon. Top with some more roasted peanuts, and serve. Eat with sticky rice, in the vicinity of a western toilet, with chilled TP close at hand.

Serving suggestion :

Serve with red curry...

... and a smile!