Tuesday, January 11

Thai Green Papaya Salad "Som Tam"

Green Papaya Salad also known as “Som Tam” is one of the many dishes popular is Thailand. It is mostly serve with Thai sticky rice and a meat. Som Tam is to Thai as Kimchi is to Korean. It is simple, low calorie, and full of flavor, plus very nutritious.
We’ve got fresh green papaya available this week so here is a recipe to try for your dinner menu this week.

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Thai Green Papaya Salad w/ Dried Shrimp (Som Tam Thai)
Serving Size: 4
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
(Available at Mama Nida's Asian Market)
  • 1 Green Papaya (small to medium size) Shredded
  • 3 tbsp Palm Sugar
  • 1 Lime
  • 1-2 Gloves Garlic
  • ½ cup Carrots, shredded
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dried Shrimp
  • 2-3 Thai chili pepper
  • ½ cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4 tbsp Roasted peanuts, chopped

  1. Peel the outer green layer of the papaya then rinse well. Shred the papaya lengthwise using a regular cheese grater using the largest size hole. Continue to turn the papaya as you shred until you get closer to the middle, try not to puncture a whole so that the seeds doesn’t come out. Place your shredded papaya in a bowl and set it aside.
Note: In Thailand, green papaya salad is made using a Deep Clay Mortar, a Wooden Pestle, and a spatula. If you have these at home or similar to it, then continue onto the instruction #2. If you do not, scroll down to Alternative Instructions.
  1. Smash a clove of garlic first to bring out the aroma.
  2. Add the shredded carrots and cherry tomatoes then pound a few times to bruise them and release their juices.
  3. Add the desired amount of chili peppers and crush according to your preference.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients: shredded papaya, dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. Push the mixture into the mortar with the pestle and use the spatula to stir the mixture well.

Alternative Instruction: If you do not have a deep big mortar….
2. Crush the garlic cloves, tomatoes, thai chili and carrots separately using a small mortar or by using a meat tenderizer mallet and a chopping board. Set them aside in a large bowl.
3. Add dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar into the bowl
4. Spread the shredded papaya on a chopping board and pound on it a few times using a meat tenderizer to encourage bruising along the favors of the mixture to soak in. Then add the papaya into the bowl and mix well.
Green Papaya salad is usually serve with sticky rice and some type of meat dish. Along with the dish is a side of fresh basil which aids in cooling your mouth from the hot spicy burn of the chili.