Today our special salad is Thai Green Papaya Salad, or “Som Tam (ส้มตำ)” in Thai, This dish was voted to be in the top 50 most delicious dishes in the world, according to CNN. Som Tam is originally a signature dish of Isaan (aka Northeastern Thai) food, with lots of influence from Laos food. Then this dish became very popular in all regions of Thailand, and is also in a lot of “must try Thai food” lists for foreigners.
Why Som Tam is always in the “can’t miss” list?
The reason why Som Tam is so popular? Well, it’s flavorful and it’s healthy, many people are quite addicted to this crispy green papaya salad. Moreover, many places for Isaan food in Thailand are not expensive and cozy. Most of them are considered street food, and quite good for cheap party. Many Thai people make friends by inviting to Thai Isaan Street Food. If you would like to feel like local people, you can try this in Bangkok or any part of Thailand 🙂 *Please observe the hygiene of that place before though.*
Som Tam / Green Papaya Salad is keto / vegetarian friendly?
Let me show you how to make easy vegetarian / vegan Som Tam, this Thai food’s main ingredients are plant based so it is very easy to modify. You just avoid dried shrimps, and use soy sauce or salt to substitute fish sauce. If you use soy sauce, I recommend the same amount as fish sauce in the recipe. Otherwise, add 1 tsp. of salt instead.
Easy Keto Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) Ingredients:
- 1 cup green papaya
- 9 cherry tomatoes
- 10 small dried shrimps
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 0.5 salty egg/ 2 salty quail eggs (Optional, but it goes very well with Som Tam)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp tamarind cooking sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/8 tsp sweetener / 1 tbsp. palm sugar
- 1-3 chillis/ 1 tbsp. chilli powder
- 1/4 cup long beans/ green beans (Optional)
- 1 tbsp. Roasted peanut (Optional)
Low Carb Som Tam or Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe
/ Recette Thaï salade de papaye verte:
- Use a big grater to shred green papaya and carrot. Please avoid putting inner membrane nor seeds.
- Crush garlic and fresh chillies (if using) in a mortar.
- Crush small dried shrimps. Add fish sauce, sweetener/sugar, lime juice, and tamarind sauce. You could add chilli powder (optional) now, if you are not using fresh Thai chilli.
- Mix and taste the dressing. You can use a spoon to help to stir the mix in the mortar.
- Gently crush tomatoes and green beans (optional). Be extra careful, the dressing could go to your eye if you use a small mortar.
- Then gently crush shaved papaya and carrot.
- Mix salty eggs and roasted peanut (optional) before you serve.
**“Green Papaya Salad” in Thai is “Som Tam” or “Som Tum”?
(Thai Language Nerd Corner)**
How to spell / read / pronounce “green papaya salad” or “Thaï salade de papaye verte” in Thai? Is it “Som Tam” or “Sm Tum”? If you’ve ever founded that Thai transliteration spelling is so confusing. You are not ALONE!! Transliteration is also confusing for Thai people too. We can discuss about this in depth later. Anyway today I prepare all information to crack “How to read Thai words?” and “How to pronounce Thai dish names properly?” for you already, as follows:
- Thai language: ส้มตำ
- Phonetics: /som˥˩.tam˧/(R)
- Transliteration (Thai Royin National Standard): som tam
- Another Transliteration (Paiboon publishing): sôm dtam
- Popular Transliteration among Thai people: Som Tum
All literate Thai people understand “ส้มตำ” from the first bullet point (Thai language). Then you can use the phonetics as reference for the most accurate pronunciation. However, there are too many versions of transliteration, because the central standard from government authorities is not so popular. And it’s not popular because most Thai people do not know how to apply that standard system accurately. Therefore, many people create their “own system”. As a result, no wonder why there are so many versions of transliteration. Please feel free to email me to discuss about this “fun and interesting” part of learning Thai language.
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