Those that are familiar with som tam will know it as a Thai salad that is generally made with sliced green papayas. In this recipe, we’ll be substituting the unripe papaya with cucumber. This change in the recipe is great for when mango is not in season and can be a bit pricy in the market. Sliced cucumbers are a great replacement as it still provides the crunch in the dish while not compromising on nutritional value.
If you happened to be in Thailand, this is one dish that you may not want to miss. However, if you go to Thailand, why don’t you bring a bit of Thailand to your home by trying out this recipe? Happy cooking!
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled (you may reduce the amount if you prefer a lighter scent and flavour)
- 2 bird’s eye chillies
- 1 tablespoon of dried shrimp, soaked in hot water until soft
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- Long green beans, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut into half
- Half cup of crushed roasted peanuts
- Pinch of salt (to taste)
- On a small frying pan or wok, add in some oil on medium heat. Mix in dried shrimps and stir fry until crispy.
- Add in the roasted peanuts and toss them for a minute or so. Set them aside.
- In a pestle and mortar, mash the garlic cloves and salt until fragrant. Add the shrimps and peanuts into the mixture and continue to mash.
- Mix in the bird’s eye chillies and crush all of them into a rough paste.
- Continue to add in the beans, tomatoes and lime juice. Mash this mixture and transfer them into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix in the fish sauce and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Toss the dressings and the salad ingredients together evenly.
- Add in the peanuts and continue mixing them thoroughly until the peanuts are well-incorporated with the salad.
- Serve immediately.
This dish should be a balanced mixture of salty, sweet and sour. Therefore, you may adjust the dressings as necessary to your own preference.