This green papaya salad, also known as "som tam" (ส้มตำ) is one of the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine. In Thailand, green papaya salad is made using a large wooden mortar and pestle. I only have a small mortar here, so I smash all ingredients in two additions and mix them up in a large bowl.
If you'd like to make this salad, it's better to buy all ingredients at Asian market. I normally go to May Wah supermarket on Clement st. and 8th ave. You'll get everything there, even the green papaya and shrimp paste. Get a whole papaya, you can use a cheese grater to shred the papaya.
Green papaya salad is often served with sticky rice and grilled chicken, along with cabbage, green beans and Thai basil.
- 4 cups shredded green papaya
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Thai chillies
- 1/4 tsp. shrimp paste
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar
- 1/4 cup dried shrimp
- 1/4 cup toasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1.5" long
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tbsp. tamarind juice
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 lime juice
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
1. Roughly crush garlic, chillies, shrimp paste, palm sugar, dried shrimp and peanuts together with mortar and pestle. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Pound green beans and tomatoes lightly with mortar and pestle. Transfer to the same large bowl.
3. Using a big spoon, mix in tamarind juice, fish sauce and lime juice.
4. Using the same spoon, mix in shredded papaya. Make sure the dressing is coating all the green papaya.
5. Transfer the salad on the plate, sprinkle with a handful of toasted peanuts and garnish with Thai basil.
When I'm not cooking, I'm going to these two Thai restaurants. Check them out!