Prep Time: 5 Mins
I’ve been craving a green papaya salad or som tam for ages! Unfortunately, our new papaya trees are not producing fruit yet, and it’s surprisingly impossible to get green papayas at the market. Luckily, we went past some random roadside papaya trees and spied a laden tree, just the perfect height for picking. Yay, free food!
Now, som tam is an Isan dish. Isan is the northeastern region of Thailand, where a lot of culture and cuisine is heavily influenced by Laos. Isan food is less heavy on the curries and complex preparation, and more on the straightforward side—grilled and deep fried proteins, and intensely flavourful salads. I just love som tam, it’s such a simple blend of flavours that is so fresh and appetizing.
Green papaya salad is traditionally served with plain steamed sticky rice, Vegan Larb Moo and something grilled. I like to have it with grilled tofu and mushrooms (het yang), recipe coming soon!
Peel the green papaya then sliver it. You can use the traditional way, which is hacking it with mad Thai auntie knife skills, or use a julienne peeler that you can buy from a 2-dollar shop. Guess which one I used! You only need a big handful of green papaya, so I only shaved about ⅔ of this green papaya.