Som Tam Piquant Thai Salad



This Thai salad merges a wonderful combination of spicy flavours. A good-sized mortar and pestle is essential for this recipe. In Thailand, they use green papaya but you can use thin slices of carrot and shredded cabbage.


Lightly pound 2 cloves of garlic in the mortar. Add 3 or 4 small red or green chilies and lightly pound. Add 1/3 C roasted peanuts and lightly pound. Occasionally stir this with a spoon as you crush, to keep it mixing and prevent it forming a paste. Don't over crush.

Add about 1 cup of thin slices of green beans or Asian long beans into the mortar and bruise them with the pestle. If you've got a big mortar you can add the carrot and cabbage and bruise and mix all this together. Otherwise turn the contents of the mortar into the bowl of 2-3 C of carrot and 1 1/2 cups of cabbage and mix and bruise it all with your pestle.

Add 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 2 tsp of brown sugar and about 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Mix thoroughly. Top with 1 or 2 chopped tomatoes. Ideal served with rice and fried tofu.


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 small red or green chilies
  • 1/3 C peanuts, roasted
  • 1 C green beans or Asian long beans, thinly sliced
  • 3 ½ C green papaya (or 2 C carrot, 1 ½ C cabbage)
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ C soy sauce
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped

Serve with 1 ½ C rice and fried tofu.