Friday, December 6, 2013

Green Papaya Salad

Thai Style...

About Green Papaya Salad:

Green papaya salad is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. Locally known in Cambodia as bok l'hong pronounced [ɓok lhoŋ], in Laos as tam som  or the more specific name tam maak hoong , in Thailand as som tam (Thaiส้มตำpronounced [sôm tam]), and in Vietnam as goi du duSom tam, the Thai variation, was listed at number 46 on World's 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
The dish combines the five main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, saltysavory fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar. The ingredients are mixed and pounded in a mortar; The general Lao name tam som literally means "pounded sour", however, the more specific Lao name tam maak hoong literally means "pounded papaya". In Khmer, the name bok l'hong also means "pounded papaya". In Thai, the name som tam, (a reversal of the Lao name), literally translates as "sour pounded". However, other pounded salads in Thailand are consistent with the Lao naming convention in which the word tam ("pounded") is listed first.
Despite the use of papaya, which one may think of as sweet, this salad is actually savory. When not yet ripe, papaya has a slightly tangy flavor. The texture is crisp and firm, sometimes to the point of crunchiness. It is this that allows the fruit to withstand being beaten in the mortar.
In Laos, green papaya salad is eaten all over Laos and is one of the traditional staples of the Lao. Pounded salads in Laos all fall under the parent category of tam som, which may or may not contain green papaya, however, when no specific type of tam som is mentioned, it is generally understood to refer to green papaya salad. For absolute clarity, however, the name tam maak hoong may be used, since this name means "pounded papaya".
In Thailand, it is customary that a customer ask the preparer to make the dish suited to his or her tastes. To specifically refer to the dish as prepared traditionally in Laos or Isan, it is known as ส้มตำลาว or som tam Lao or simply as tam Lao, and the dish as prepared in central Thailand may be referred to as som tam Thai.
Traditionally the local variety of green papaya salad in the streets of Bangkok is very hot due to the addition of a fistfull of chopped hot Bird's eye chili, however with its rising popularity among tourists, it is often served now not as hot.

Additional ingredients

Green papaya salad, grilled chicken and sticky rice is a popular combination in Thailand
Together with the papaya, some or most of the following secondary items are added and pounded in the mortar with the pestle:
Papaya salad is often served with sticky rice and kai yang/ping gai (grilled chicken). It can also be eaten with fresh rice noodles (Lao:sen khao poon / Thai: khanom chin) or simply as a snack by itself with, for instance, crispy pork rinds. The dish is often accompanied by raw vegetables on the side to mitigate the spiciness of the dish.


2-3 cloves of garlic
Thai chilies, to taste
1.5 Tbsp small dried shrimp, roughly chop if you have large ones(As i dont like shrimp,i didnt use it)
5 long beans, cut in 2” pieces (optional)
¼ cup roasted peanuts
3/4 cup grape tomato halves
2 cups shredded green papaya


2 Tbsp palm sugar syrup(if you don't have use 1 tbsp of brown sugar )

    *To make palm sugar syrup, cook 1/2 cup finely chopped palm sugar with 3 Tbsp of water, stirring          until all sugar is dissolved. Store leftovers in a sealed jar for future uses.

Juice of half of a juicy lime, about 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp tamarind juice
2 Tbsp fish sauce


1.Usually this salad is done in big clay mortar and pestle,as i didn't have it i used regular mortar and pestle and did this batch by batch...

2.In a mortar and pestle , pound together garlic and chilies until there are no more big chunks.Keep it aside

3.Add dried shrimp(if using), and pound to crush them up a bit. keep it aside.

4.Add long beans and peanuts, and pound to break them up.add to the rest of the pounded material...

5.Add palm sugar syrup, fish sauce, lime juice. Throw in the remainder of the lime after juicing as well for added flavour. Mix well with a large spoon.

Add papaya and tomatoes. Mix everything together.


If you do not have a mortar & pestle, you can: Grate the garlic with a zester, finely mince chilies, chop the peanuts, and bruise the long beans with any pestle-like object you can find (a bottle? rolling pin?). Toss everything together in a bowl. Or if you have a small mortar and pestle, follow the recipe until the dressing ingredients are all added.  Toss the content of the mortar with the papaya and tomatoes in a larger bowl.

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