Som tam is a Thai dish made out of young papaya, long beans, tomatoes, roasted nuts and dried shrimps in a sweet sour and salty dressing made out of chillies lime and fish sauce. Ingredients apart from the papaya are then pounded using mortar hence the name which means “sour pounded” in English. Ordering this dish in Thailand it is customary for chefs to ask how you would want it, so you can customize the taste according to your preference.
This is most probably the most popular Thai salad; it was also at number 46 on 2011 CNNGo’s World’s 50 most delicious foods. Som tam might be a weird dish to most of us due to the use of unripe papaya, but for Filipinos I guess they will say it will be something like atchara which is nearly the same apart from the souring agent use as the Filipino uses vinegar and no tomatoes or dried shrimps are added.
This dish is usually accompanied with sticky rice, served over rice noodles, over raw vegetables or just a snack matched with crispy pork rinds (chicharon). How about you how would you enjoy this type of dish?
1 medium sized green papaya, julienned
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried shrimp
8 long red chillies, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp raw sugar or any sweetener of choice
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, ground
3 strands long beans, sliced
1. Add 2 tbsp of oil in a small pan then fry dried shrimps until very fragrant. Separate shirmps with oil, set both aside.
2. Mix together garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and oil from fried shrims in a bowl.
3. Add papaya, tomatoes, chillies, dried shrimp, long beans and peanuts. Mix well then serve.