Somtam - SE Asian Salad

Somtam (Mmm, one of my fave Thai food) is a spicy salad of shredded papaya or mango that is popular in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Its main ingredients other than the aforementioned above are hot chili, sour lime, garlic, tomatoes, and palm sugar for an added sweetness.

Different provinces in Thailand have their own variation of somtam. In Isan (northeast), they like their somtam to be more sour, salty, and without dried shrimp and peanuts. Central Thailand on the other hand, love peanuts and sweeter somtam.

Here's the complete list of its ingredients and the steps on how to make somtam

About 2 cups shredded green papaya
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoon palm sugar, if not available can substitute it with regular sugar
3 tablespoon lime juice
½ cups tomato, wedged
1/3 cup dried shrimp
¼ cup peanuts
10 green chilli
5 cloves garlic

How to make:

1. Peel the papaya and rinse with running water to remove the acid. Remove the seeds and shred the papaya with a grater. Set aside.

2. Place the garlic cloves and the chilies in a mortar and mash with a pestle until crushed into chunks. Place the papaya and the remaining ingredients in the mortar and gently combine all ingredients by mixing with the pestle and a spoon. Serve cold.

Note: The steps on how to make somtam were taken from: "Thailand the Beautiful Cookbook" by Panurat Poladitmontr


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