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Som Tum - Green Papaya Salad

Som Tum - Green Papaya Salad

- from Sandra Molyneaux – adapted from Cooking with Poo, Sayuud Diwong

Serves 4


1 to 3 fresh Thai or bird chilis, according to your taste, seeded, if you like less heat

3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 Tb. palm or regular sugar

2 to 3 Tb. lime juice

1 Tb. soy sauce

1 to 2 Tb. fish sauce

2 tsp. tamarind puree

2 medium Green papaya, peeled, seeded, grated or julienne *

1 carrot, peeled, grated

½ cup peanuts – roughly chopped

½ cup green beans, sliced on the diagonal

3 small-medium tomatoes, diced

1 Tb. dried prawns – optional**crushed in a mortar and pestle or finely chopped

lime wedges for serving

Cooked rice, for serving


Combine garlic, chili and sugar together in a mortar and pestle or food processor and crush into a paste.

Add lime juice, soy, fish sauce and tamarind and blend. Taste for seasoning, adding more fish sauce, chilies, sugar or lime juice if needed.

Combine grated carrot, papaya, tomatoes, beans and prawns in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and toss well, adjust seasoning.

Top with peanuts and serve with rice and lime wedges

* Green papaya is an unripe papaya and is hard and the flesh is tart and crisp similar to a granny smith apple. The color of the flesh is pale yellow not orange, as the ripe ones are. If you can’t find green papaya you can cabbage for this recipe.

** If you are not using dried prawns, add a bit more fish sauce or soy sauce for salt

What you want with this recipe is salt, hot, sweet and tart all in one dish.

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