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Indulge in the lively and invigorating flavors of Thailand with our Som Tam recipe! Som Tam, also known as Green Papaya Salad, is a quintessential Thai dish that harmonizes the crispness of green papaya, the zing of citrus, and the kick of chili heat. In this recipe, we'll guide you through crafting this iconic salad that encapsulates the vibrancy and spirit of Thai cuisine. Immerse yourself in the medley of textures and tastes, from the crunch of vegetables to the umami of fish sauce, in Som Tam, a dish that's both refreshing and addictive.
1 medium green papaya, peeled and julienned
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 Thai bird's eye chilies, sliced (adjust to taste)
2-3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 limes, juiced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup long beans or green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1-2 tablespoons dried shrimp (optional)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Step 1: Prepare the Dressing
In a mortar and pestle, pound minced garlic and Thai bird's eye chilies to a coarse paste. Add palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and tamarind paste. Mix well to create the dressing.
Step 2: Assemble the Salad
In a mixing bowl, combine julienned green papaya, halved cherry tomatoes, and cut long beans or green beans.
Step 3: Toss and Crush
Add the prepared dressing to the bowl and gently toss the ingredients together. Use the pestle to lightly crush and bruise the vegetables, allowing them to absorb the flavors.
Step 4: Add Crunch and Umami
Incorporate the coarsely chopped roasted peanuts and dried shrimp (if using) to add crunch and umami.
Step 5: Finish with Freshness
Add fresh Thai basil leaves and cilantro leaves to the salad. Gently toss to combine.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Transfer the Som Tam to a serving plate. Garnish with additional peanuts and herbs. Serve immediately as a refreshing appetizer or side dish.
Congratulations! You've mastered the art of creating Som Tam, a dish that showcases the tantalizing contrasts of flavors and textures in Thai cuisine. With its blend of julienned green papaya, zesty lime, spicy chilies, and the medley of herbs, Som Tam offers a delightful explosion of tastes that awaken the senses. Share the joy of Som Tam with friends and family, and let them revel in the invigorating balance of sweet, sour, and spicy notes. Experience the refreshing journey through Som Tam, a dish that embodies the essence of Thai culinary exuberance!