It’s as good a time as any to get your little’s active in the kitchen. Papaya Salad is an easy, healthy and versatile option for little hands and fingers. Practice cutting different textures and preparing raw food the whole family will enjoy!
- 1 unripe green papaya
- 1 large carrot
- 2 long strings of green beans cut into 1 in. pieces
- 2-4 medium sized tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- Handful of unsalted roasted peanuts (opt.)
- 3-5 limes
- 2 tbs. palm or coconut sugar
- 1 tbs. fish sauce (leave out for vegans / vegetarians and the faint of heart)
- Salt to taste
1.) Remove skin from the carrot and papaya, then use a serrated peeler to cut them into long strips. Quarter tomatoes, cut green beans and set aside.
2.) Mash garlic in a wooden mortar (referred to in Thai as the Pok-Pok) until it is broken into small pieces. Add green beans and mash until slightly broken open. (Alternatively, if you do not have a mortar and pistil, chop garlic and mix with green beans).
3.) Add papaya and carrots, mash gently. Add tomatoes and toss together.
4.) Squeeze limes and combine juice with palm sugar, fish sauce and salt. Taste to ensure the balance of sweet, salty, sour and fishy is to your liking. Take time with this step and don’t be afraid to play with your proportions, every traditional Som Tam maker will have their own distinct blend of flavors.
5.) Add sauce to salad so that it is slightly dressed and well combined. Sprinkle in peanuts and serve with your favorite kind of rice.
** This dish is traditionally made with chili and is so spicy that it is eaten with rice to cool the palette. For adults who like spicy food add 2-4 Thai red or green chilies with the garlic in step 2.
** There are many variations of this dish so if you don’t have all the ingredients, experiment with what you have. Thai eggplant, corn and fried sardines all make tasty compliments to this famous dish.
Papaya Salad or Som Tam is traditionally paired with sticky rice, a plate of green herbs and veggies, and a protein like a bbq grilled chicken, pork or fish. We also love it with fried chicken or a plain omelette.