Som Tam, a favorite!


Yes, I did feel the need to say ‘a favorite’ right at the start. As you know, we spent a week in Thailand and I practically lived on som tam! Every restaurant gave it their unique touch thus tasting different every single time.  Som tam is a robust mixture of raw papaya, fish and peanuts. To be more specific, tiny crabs are squished and the juices are used as part of the dressing. I couldn’t get myself to do any of that, which is the reason I substituted with store bought fish sauce. My mother in law makes this salad and I love everything her way J So, I tweaked the recipe a little and gave it my own twist.

This is all you need,

Dried Prawns have the longest shelf life and give this salad the most amazing texture. I also use dried prawns to make soba.

Raw papaya is completely green with no specs of yellow or orange.

Peel the papaya with a knife and not a peeler.

With a sharp knife, bash the hell out of the papaya making deep incisions all over. An alternate method would be to grate into thick long strands.

Never mind the strands that do not want to be part of this goodness 🙂

Hold the papaya vertical and cut all the way along it’s’ length to make not so thin long juliennes.

And the result…

My orange wok’s back in the game.

Heat sesame oil in the wok. This may not be the most authentic method but I swear by it.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and honey and stir.

Switch off the flame and add red chili flakes and roasted peanuts. Ideal would be Thai bird chili. But it often happens that I can’t get any.

That’s the dressing done!

Add the julienned papaya, chopped coriander and dried shrimp and toss in the dressing. I usually avoid seasoning as the fish sauce and soy sauce are extremely salty.

Salad ready for plate up! I usually make a crisp squid or prawn to serve the salad with. Som tam makes a great light lunch as well!

Ah how pretty!

Hope you guys try it.

Have a great day!


Raw papaya 1

Coriander ½ bunch

Peanuts 3 tbsp.

Sesameoil 2 tbsp.

Soy sauce 2 tsp.

Honey 1 tsp.

Fish sauce 1 tsp.

Vinegar 2 tsp.

Dried prawns 1 tsp.


Peel the papaya with a knife. Make deep incisions into the papaya and shred into juliennes as illustrated above. Heat sesame oil in a tiny wok. Add soy sauce, honey, fishsauce and vinegar and warm through. Switch off the flame and add chili flakes and peanuts. In goes the papaya, coriander and dried prawns. Toss in the dressing and serve.


So, what do you think ?