Monday, February 20th 2023
Here is a recipe for Thai papaya salad (Som Tam) that is well-regarded:
- 1 small green papaya, peeled and shredded
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 Thai bird's eye chilies, minced (or to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- A handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
- A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves, torn
- Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, shred the papaya into thin, matchstick-sized pieces.
- In a large mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chilies together until they are well mashed.
- Add the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice to the mortar and mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the shredded papaya and chopped tomatoes to the mortar and pound gently to mix and bruise the vegetables. Be careful not to overdo it - the salad should still have some texture and crunch.
- Add the crushed peanuts, cilantro, mint, and Thai basil to the mortar and gently toss to combine.
- Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning as needed with more fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar.
- Serve the salad immediately, garnished with extra herbs and peanuts if desired.
Note: If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a large bowl and a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together. The salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a day, but it is best served fresh. Enjoy!