Thai dishes are always my special favorite, when I want something bit hot yet sweet and sour I try out various Thai dishes. This Thai salad locally known as Som Tum a very popular one. From the road side vendor to the top notch restaurant in Thailand serve this delicious dish. A friend of mine once prepared this for us and then I prepared it quite a number of times and every time I enjoyed the pleasure of eating. Also Som Tum is prepared with green raw papya and green Papaya is known to have an abundance of the enzyme Papain that breaks down protein which in turn aids digestion. As the fruit ripens, the enzyme content decreases, so you are doing your body good by eating the unripe fruit. I think you will love the hot and sour Thai salad Som Tum.
Green Papaya 1
Cherry tomatoes 1 cup halved
Long beans 1/3 cup cut into 1 inch length
Carrot shredded ½ cup
Crushed peanut 3 tbsp
Garlic clove 6 to 8 crushed
Thai chillies (bird peppers) 1 to 2
Fish sauce ¼ cup
Soya sauce 1 tbsp
Lemon juice 1tbsp
Palm sugar/ Agave Nectar 2 tbsp
Roasted peanut ¼ cup
Cilantro chopped 2 tbsp
Many times for cooking this green papaya salad you will see shredded papaya is used but I will not recommend the shredded papaya for it give the salad a sloppy and unrefined look. So I will tell you to first, peel the hard green papaya with a vegetable peeler. Then, cut the papaya in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape away all of the seeds from the inside. Now, you can either use a fancy mandolin or a knife or papaya shredder a little instrument you can find in Asian grocery to finely julienne the papaya into thin matchstick-sized strips. You want the strips to be as narrow as possible, so that they can absorb the bright salad dressing. One word of caution, if the shreds are too thick, the salad might be a bit tough. In this case, you might want to soften the papaya up by sprinkling some salt and lime juice on it and crushing it a little in the mortar and pestle. Then put the garlic, the chilies ( Thai chilies[bird peppers] are small red in color and very hot so use them according to your taste), and the long bean into a mortar and pestle. Pound it, but not too thoroughly. You want everything broken up good (especially the chilies), but not transformed into paste. Add the sugar, the lime juice and the fish sauce, Soya sauce to the mortar and pestle and pound it in a bit. If you are using palm sugar, you would pound it until the sugar is dissolved. Keep aside the dressing . Now in a bowl take papaya. Carrot and tomatoes , crushed peanut add the dressing and mix well .Then add the roasted peanut and cilantro.
You can serve immediately or store in fridge for an hour for the flavor to meld and have it but when you serve it, just strain away the excess dressing. This is the basic Som Tum salad recipe but when you prepare adjust the hotness, sourness and sweetness according to your taste and liking. This salad in Thailand and Laos are taken with barbequed chicken and sticky rice. But for me I love the heaping amount just like that. Let me know how you like to have it.
BE HAPPY AND STAY HEALTHY.