Homemade Som Tam Thai

Som tam is a common Thai dish that food historians believe to originate from Laos then spread to northeast Thailand. It is also known as Thai papaya green salad or papaya pok pok. It is often spicy but you can remind the waitress to make it less spicy. We often eat it with gai yang (Thai grilled chicken). 


I have always wanted to make my own som tam thai. One day, I went to the kitchen in our office and saw a Thai colleague making one. I watched and learned! Below is the homemade som tam thai recipe.

Things to prepare:

1 medium-sized green papaya (the size depends on the number of servings)
2 red chili peppers (or more if you want it to be spicier)
3 small sliced tomatoes (som tam tomatoes are smaller than regular tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 limes 
1 cup of roasted peanuts
mortar and pestle
knife

Things to do:

Cut the green papaya into small, thin, and narrow pieces. Put the pieces of green papaya in a container. Use the mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and chili peppers. Add brown sugar to the mix and fish sauce. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Squeeze the juice from the limes into the mortar. Add tomatoes and roasted peanuts. Pound the mixture but not too hard. Add a big handful of green papaya to the mortar and pound lightly. Mix all together using a spoon or fork.