Prawn Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

A Recipe for Thai Prawn Papaya Salad, Served with Barbecued Chicken and Sticky Rice.

This is popular throughout Southeast Asia. It is quite simple to make, and therefore an ideal recipe for those just getting started with Thai cooking. It is best served with sticky rice (Khao Neow) and grilled chicken. This can be a little trickier for those just starting out in the kitchen, but it’s always worth a try. After all, practice makes perfect!

Thai Papaya Salad (or Som Tam) is a refreshing, healthy salad that combines sweet, sour, salty, and spicy into one harmonious dish. The main ingredients are shredded green papaya, chopped green beans, tomato, dried prawns, unsalted roasted peanuts, chillies, garlic and lime juice.

This is how we cook it at home…

Sticky Rice

  • 2 cups of sticky rice (glutinous rice)
  • Water

Place the sticky rice into a bowl and add hot water, allowing it soak for 3 hours before steaming. Then drain the rice, wrap with a cloth and place in steamer for approximately 30 minutes.

Prawn Papaya Salad

  • 10 Prawns, shelled, de-veined and branched
  • 250g green papaya, rinsed, peeled, de-seeded and shredded
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • ½ chilli, de-seeded
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried shrimps
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 25g green beans, cut in halves
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Pound the garlic and chilli together in pestle and mortar. Gently combine the papaya and the remaining  ingredients together with the pestle and spoon, then set aside.

Thai Barbecued Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp black peppercorn
  • root and leaves of 1 coriander stalk
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp oil

Pound together the garlic, peppercorns and coriander root and leaves to form a paste. Rub the entire chicken with the paste, fish sauce and salt and marinate for 15 minutes.

On a medium heat, drizzle the grilling pan with oil and gently cook the chicken on both sides until cooked through.

Cut into slices before serving and arrange dish to accommodate prawn papaya salad and sticky rice.

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One Response to Prawn Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for the recipie guys as someone new to Thai cooking found this a real tasty treat quite easy to prepare aswell will definatley be having this again . Keep the recipes coming . Many thanks steve

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