Papaya Salad (Som Tum)

3

Serves

2

Papaya Salad (Som Tum)

"This is one of the most popular salads in Thai cuisine. Each family has their own way of making it, and my mom was no exception." - Chef Nuit Regular


Ingredients

  • 1/4 green papaya , about 250g
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste , (can also use store-bought)
  • 3 unpeeled Thai garlic cloves , or 1 peeled regular garlic clove
  • 1 to 3 fresh bird's eye chilies , (adjust according to your spice preference), stems removed
  • 3/4 tsp yard-long beans , trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 9 cherry tomatoes , cut in half
  • 1/4 cup large dried shrimp
  • 3 wedges of green cabbage , sliced thick
  • 9 fresh sawtooth coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Using a peeler, peel green papaya. Using a knife, cut off and discard the top 1 in. at the stem end. Cut papaya in half and, using a spoon, scrape out and discard seeds. Wash papaya and pat dry. If you have a zigzag (julienne) peeler, use this to scrape the flesh of the papaya into shreds about 3 in. long. Otherwise, julienne papaya to the same length. You should have about 1 cup of prepared green papaya. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine fish sauce and coconut sugar. Stir well until sugar fully dissolves. Be patient—this will take a few min. Add lime juice and Tamarind Paste, and stir. Set aside.
  • Using a stone mortar and pestle, grind garlic to a paste. Add chilies and lightly bruise for a mild to medium spice. If you prefer more spice, grind until chilies break into small pieces. Add yard-long beans and pound to bruise. Add pea- nuts and pound to a coarse powder. Add tomatoes and lightly bruise. Add fish sauce mixture and green papaya, and pound to mix. Be careful not to overly bruise. Add dried shrimp and, using a large spoon, mix well. Transfer to a plate. Serve with cabbage and sawtooth coriander.

The recipes in Chef Nuit Regular’s cookbook, Kiin, encompass her cooking life in restaurant kitchens and beyond: some of her restaurants’ biggest hits. The pad Thai noodles she used to make and sell in little plastic baggies for extra income as a student. The birthday curry her mother made every year. This papaya salad — the list goes on (and you’re going to want to try it all).

Excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Copyright © 2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography copyright © 2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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