Thai Papaya Salad: Som Tam

After all that curry-vurry,kheer-sheer, of the past few days, me craves some cool salads.
Till sometime back, salad conjured up images of a pile of limp greens in a bland creamy dressing, but having discovered thai salads, I have had to completely revised my concept. The thais love their salads, like we love our chaats, and with steamed rice , it often becomes a lovely, light meal.

The most well known of these is Som Tum, or raw papaya salad, which is made with shredded green papaya tossed with a spicy dressing. This is how it goes


One small coarsely shredded green papaya ( around 1.5 cups)
7 to 8 cherry tomatoes, or one medium, firm tomato, quartered
a handful of long beans (around 1/4th cup), snapped into manageable bits
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh green/red chilli
Lime juice, salt, sugar to taste ( I used the juice of one lime & 1 tsp sugar)
a few splashes of light soy sauce (optional)
1/4th cup roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed or chopped

For those who would like to make it the traditional way, these videos explain it . Pound the garlic and chili with a little salt in a mortar and pestle, if you have one.

Else,smash the garlic and chili and finely chop them. Toss in the long beans and pound a bit more, or smash those too. The tomatoes also need to be pounded (only lightly )to extract the juice. You could also, slice them and mix. Add the shredded papaya and the seasonings, sprinkle the peanuts and you're good to go. It does taste a lot better than it may look!

Off this goes to It's a vegan world-Thai, hosted by Priya at Akshaypaatram, an event created by Vaishali

41 comments:

  1. Had Pad Thai last night when dining out and was thinking of looking up your recipe :-)
    Don't like raw papaya ... but love the look of your salad. :-)

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  2. I dont get raw papaya here, salad looks amazing..wat a delicious salad!

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  3. Love Som Tam but find it so hard to get raw papaya. actually i dont think we even get it here!

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  4. Great entry. and I loved the use of pestle and mortar...thats what I call keeping it real :)

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  5. We make stirfries with raw papaya all because it is available in plenty due to the trees that grow in the backyard. Time I made a change from the stir fry :)

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  6. The photographs are beautiful! I too love raw papaya salad and use soy sauce for the fish sauce. Makes a fine meal. Good work!

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  7. What a great recipe. I never liked ripe papayas, but would always have the raw ones. we had trees on lour house. Love this idea!! & Love your pictures.

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  8. Looks delicious. My husband loves this salad. Thanks for the recipe.

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  9. love the recipe, rashmi...I love raw papaya, it's a gr8 vegetable...love to make salad with it, next time for sure...your salad platter is so lip-smacking...........gr8 entry

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  10. Nice salad, would love to try :)

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  11. i made this last week. :) love it.

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  12. wow.. healthy salad.. nice clicks..

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  13. I once bought raw payaya to make this... didn't think I could make a good tasting salad... and so forgot about it. :)

    this looks brilliant.

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  14. WOWW!! Such a beautiful post, visual treat DB. Great entry. I have a similar peeler which peels in strings! :)

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  15. I love this salad, have been looking for a good recipe ever since, think have now found it, thanks DB

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  16. How beautiful and appetizing that looks, Delhibelle. Like the papaya in it, and love this recipe.

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  17. I've eaten this but haven't tried it at home. It look super fresh. I wonder if I'll get raw papaya here.

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  18. It looks so yummy and refreshing!

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  19. I always want to order this salad at the Thai place we go to but eventually end up ordering all non-veg appetizers :(

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  20. i love this. the best part is that you get the papaya already shredded.

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  21. I'm not big on salads but that looks so delicious...

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  22. Delighted to see ur post,Papaya Salad- Thanks for the recipe. Cool pictures

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  23. I love som Tam! i can eat it as a meal itself :)

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  24. I love that apparatus which looks like a peeler... it probably shreds the vegetable or juliennes them, right?

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  25. Very nice salad. Beautiful pictures.

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  27. How did you know I was craving for some papaya salad just today?.. Looks awesome and just perfect for hot weather like we have been going through.

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  28. Raaga, yes that's what got the papaya shredded so uniformly and thicker than a grater. But even a coarse grater should work fine, just don't smash the papaya then, simly mix everything.

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  29. wow this looks really really good .. yumm

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  30. I've never had green papaya before. Gosh that salad is colourful and refreshing.

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  31. DB, check this post, I just posted 2 dishes of Horsegram. You can also make Rasam or regular Sambhar, Chutney with cooked HG. Also Google for HG recipes, you will plenty from other bloggers too! :)

    http://foodieshope.blogspot.com/2009/04/puducherry-indo-french-butternut-squash.html

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  32. i hv never made anything with raw papaya... but its really easily available in bombay... i think gujratis use it to make chutney... will try this recipe the next time i get around buying some.

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  33. Looks great! Have to try it I think...

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  34. wow lovely pictures rashmi..

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  35. we love this salad! unfortunately we usually can't order it out at restaurants b/c there's often shrimp or fish paste in it so thanks for the recipe!

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  36. btw how about substituting green mango for the raw papaya?

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  37. if you can't find the raw papaya, you can use a turnip instead. We, Thai people, use turnips sometimes. cheaper and easy to find here (usa)

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  38. Nithya: the raw mango salad is also great, but a bit different from papaya. Will post a recipe for that when i make it next.

    Anonymous:Thanks for the tip.

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