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Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Serves: Serves 2 as part of a multi-dish meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tbsp. palm sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1–2 green Thai (bird’s eye) chiles, stems removed and chopped in thirds
  • 1 tsp. small dried shrimp, or according to taste
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts
  • ½ yard-long bean or two green beans, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 2 cups unripe papaya (yellow or green), peeled and cut or grated into julienne strips
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, cut in half


Procedures:

Tangy papaya, spicy green chili, savory fish sauce and sweet palm sugar combine in this international favorite.

In a small bowl combine the first three ingredients, stir until the palm sugar dissolves and set aside.

In a large mortar, pound the garlic and chiles. Add the dried shrimp and continue pounding until a paste forms.

Add the peanuts and beans and gently pound to break up the peanuts and bruise the beans. Add the papaya and tomatoes, pressing gently with the pestle to bruise the vegetables.

Add the palm sugar mixture and toss to combine, scooping up all of the crushed ingredients at the bottom of the mortar. Stir well and serve at room temperature.

Tested and perfected in the Sur La Table kitchen

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