Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
I was really excited to see green papayas selling cheaply at my local supermarket (Sheng Siong). I bought one right away to make my favourite Thai green papaya salad, known to Thai locals as Som Tam.
What I used. (1) Green papaya (2) Japanese dried shrimps as a substitution for Thai dried shrimps and (3) gula melaka syrup as a short cut if you are lazy (like me) to melt the gula melaka (palm sugar) chunks in a saucepan. You can use honey instead, though to me gula melaka gives an edge of flavour which sugar or honey lacks. A mortar and pestle is essential to extract the full flavours of this tropical salad by lightly pounding and bashing the flavours out of the ingredients. Lastly, a zigzag peeler (what I used) or mandolin slicer will be a great investment to get professional shredded papaya in almost no time at all. Check out the write-up for Thai mango salad for more tips for making this refreshing Thai salad.
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