Green Papaya Salad - Som Tam
Recipe for a fresh and tasty Thai Papaya salad
This salad is the most popular salad in Thailand and whole Southeast Asia. Green papayas are very healthy as they contain many important enzymes and vitamins.
Green papaya flesh has a foamy texture and a mild, almost tasteless flavor. But if you massage shredded green papaya with salt and sugar, the papaya flesh becomes sweet and crispy, with a mild, cucumber-like flavour. The bright, pure flavors of the salad make it a refreshing starter to your meal.
You can buy green papayas in the Asia market or on the Internet. Make sure that the papayas are still very firm. As a substitute for the green papaya is also a mixture of Granny Smith apples, salad cucumber, thinly sliced white cabbage and carrots.
Ingredients (for 4 persons)
1 green papaya
2 cloves of garlic
3 fresh red chili peppers
2 - 3 asparagus beans or 6 green bush beans
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fine sugar
2 tbsp roasted, crushed peanuts
To taste: fresh red chillies in slices for garnishing
Peel the garlic cloves and the scallion and chop finely. Core the chili peppers and cut it into fine slices. Clean the beans and cut into 2 cm long pieces. Clean the tomatoes and cut into thin slices. Press the lime.
Peel the papaya with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Halve the papaya lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Use a Benriner slicer or a sharp knife to julienne the papaya. Alternatively, run chunks of the papaya through the largest setting on your food processor for shorter, fine slices.
Put the garlic, shallots, chillies and salt in a large mortar to grate a paste. Add the grated papaya in small portions and crush until it softens.
Add the beans and tomato slices and mix.
Combine sugar, fish sauce and lemon juice to a dressing and let the sugar dissolve. Add the dressing spoonful by spoonful and toss until you have a balance of flavor that you like, adjusting for the sourness or saltiness as needed.
Serve in a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped peanuts and chili slices. Serve immediately.
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