From its origins in Northeast Thailand, green papaya salad, known as “som tum” in Thai, has become a favorite across Thailand and even globally. (Som means sour and tum refers to an act of pounding ingredients using a mortar and pestle. Som tum is usually served with sticky rice and grilled chicken. You can also use cucumber or carrots as a substitute for green papaya.
2 cups green papaya, shredded
3-5 red chilies
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup long green beans, cut to 1” lengths
½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
2 tbsp dried shrimp (optional)
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp tamarind
2 tbsp coconut sugar
Mortar and pestle (if possible, use deep clay mortar which is handmade from Thailand or Lao PDR)
Keep shredded papaya on ice to keep papaya crispy (optional). Pound garlic and chilies together with mortar and pestle. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a blender to coarsely blend garlic and pepper together or a knife to crush garlic and pepper.) Add dried shrimp, coconut sugar, lime juice, tamarind and fish sauce. Mix well. Add long green beans, papaya, tomatoes and peanuts. Gently mix all of ingredients together. Serve with fresh vegetables, such as cabbage, mint, basil and cucumber. For the real Thai experience, enjoy with grilled chicken and sticky rice!