Som Tam (Som Tum) or Thai green papaya salad originates from Laos which is known as Dtam Mak Huhng (Tam Mak Hoong). Som Tum is a very popular food for Thai people especially in northeastern Thailand (Issan).

Thai som tam is sweet, sour, and spicy, and a little salty while Lao dtam mak huhng goes toward spicy and salty. Just like in Laos, the Thais enjoy som tam with khao niao (sticky rice) and kai yang (roast chicken or ping gai in Laotian).

Southeast Asian people love fermented fish and seafood products. You will see many of them in Southeast Asian dishes, including this som tam.

I finally represent the third green papaya salad in this blog as I posted before the Indonesian green papaya salad (Gohu Minahasa) and Vietnamese green papaya salad (Goi Du Du). I was also explaining more details about these 3 different green papaya salad on my Gohu Minahasa post.

In this recipe, I added Asian long green beans. There are two kinds of long green beans at Asian markets here, the dark and white. I like the white ones as these have a better taste (crunchier) for salad.

This recipe is adapted from Thailand Musings where Golf told other different som tam in the country

Sôm Tam (ส้มตำ)
– Thai Green Papaya Salad –

400 grams green papaya
3 Asian long green beans
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in water and drained
4 cloves garlic
5-6 green chilies (Phrik Khee Nuu)
1 tablespoon roasted peanut
3-4 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon tamarind juice

1. Peel the green papaya with your regular peeler and shred it into julienne with a julienned peeler.

2. Soak the julienned papaya with cold water for a minute and drain.

3. Pound the chilies with garlic thoroughly in a mortar, follow with dried shrimp and pound again just for softly.

5. Add green long beans, pound a few more times and add a pinch of papaya. This helps mix the garlic & chilies. Pound some more.

6. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce or salt and pound more. Make sure everything is well mixed.

7. Add the tomato , chopped into large pieces and roasted peanut, and use a pestle and a spoon help to mixed up together in the mortar. Pound more, but not as hard.

5. Add the lime and tamarind juices and the rest of the papaya. Pound about 10-15 times while mixing with a spoon. You want to evenly coat the papaya with the juices while pounding the flavor into the papaya, but don’t pound so hard that the papaya disintegrates. Add the peanuts, mix and serve.


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