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Papaya Salad (Som Tam)


Papaya Fresh Ingredient

  • 4 cups worth of Green Papaya
  • 6 Green Beans (Or long beans)
  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes

Papaya Sauce

  • 1 large Clove of Garlic (Or 2 small cloves)
  • 1 Tablespoon Roasted Salted Peanuts
  • 2 Bird's Eye Chili (Or 1 Serrano Chili)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon Brown Sugar (Or White Sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (Use 1.5 Tablespoons if you like fish sauce)
  • 2-3 pinches Salt (Optional, season to taste)


Make Dressing

  • Use a mortar and pestle to grind the following ingredients: Garlic (1 Large Clove), Roasted Peanut (1 Tablespoon), Chopped Bird's Eye Chili Pepper (1-2 Chili Peppers), Dried Shrimp (1 Tablespoon) and Brown Sugar (½ teaspoon). Give it a good pounding so the oils seep out of each ingredient and mix with each other. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, use a sturdy mixing bowl and a rolling pin -- or blitz everything in a blender).
  • To the mix, add in Fresh Lime Juice (2 Tablespoons). Then add in the Fish Sauce (1 Tablespoon). Mix everything together. Give it a taste.

Prep Fresh Ingredients

  • Use your knife to chop-up the green papaya. Then slice off small strips (reference video). You want enough papaya strips to fill 4 standard cups.
  • Then bring a pot of water up to boil. Blanche the green beans for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water and cool them down. Then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Take stems off the cherry tomatoes. Then cut each in half. We're ready to get our salad on now...

Make Salad.

  • Add cherry tomatoes to the other sauce ingredients. Use your pestle to gently mash the cherry tomatoes - just enough to release the juices.
  • Then add in the green beans. Followed by 4 cups of papaya strips.
  • Now mix everything together. We find it helpful to use a soupe ladle along with a pestle. Slightly mash everything together, scoop up the bottom pieces and repeat. Do this until the flavors soak into the papaya strips.
  • Finish the salad with a few pinches of salt. Give it a final taste. Now if you need, add slightly more fish sauce, lime juice, or salt.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts. Plate and enjoy. Bon Appetit!