Som tam isan (papaya salad northeast)

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Papaya; julienned
1 cup Prik ki nu daeng (red Birdseye or Dynamite chilis); cut in four length-wise then in half cross-wise (up to)
10 Cloves garlic; chopped coarsely
½ cup Prik chi fa daeng (red Thai Jalapenas)
½ cup Long beans cut into 1" pieces (Thai long beans if possible)
1 pinch Salt
2 teaspoons Fish sauce
¼ cup Tamarind juice
2 tablespoons Pickled mud-fish; juice of (see instructions)

Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 12:16:55 -0700 From: "Colonel I. F. K. Philpott" <colonel@...> This is a version of the som tam (papaya salad) recipe that is commonly eaten as a snack, as breakfast, or with pad thai as lunch.

Note this is *not* the same as the recipe posted earlier from sources intended for those without armour plated palettes.

This is a typical isan (north east) dish. It can be made with or without the plara (pickled mud fish). Potential cook are warned: this ingredient smells foul! but it does taste nice.

som tam is a basic "salad" style dish, eaten as a snack.

The pickled mud fish is sold in bottled form in asian markets: take some of the fish, add a little fish sauce, and place it in a muslin bag and squeeze as much fluid as possible from the fish. (you can use the fish themselves, but they are raw, albeit pickled, and their is some risk from parasites. If you use the fish paste itself I suggest you first microowave it to ensure it is safe to eat! If you are squeemish then sterilize the liquor also. If really squeemish, the ingredient is optional ...) method: sprinkle the julienned papaya with salt and let stand for half an hour or so, then squeeze and discard any fluid.

Dissolve two teaspoons of MSG (optional, but recomended), in two tablespoons of lime juice. Add half of this to the papaya, and half to the sliced prik ki nu, and allow to marinade for about an hour.

Mic these ingredients, and bruise them in a mortar and pestle.

Julienne the red jalapenas, and mix all the ingredients.

Serve with a bowl of sticky rice, or a plate of pad thai.

This is food for chili masochists in extremis: you can increase the proportion of chilis until this is a bowl of red fire, and it will still be authentic.

If you wish you can decorate the salad with chopped roast peanuts, sliced green onions, and mint leaves. You could also include [raw] bean sprouts and sliced cucumber as side dishes. Thais generally eat lettuce or some cabbage related vegetable as a side dish also. (The normal way to eat it is to rip a piece of lettuce leaf, and take a mouthful of som tam in the leaf and eat it without knife, fork or spoon...) If you want to be a bit more western use a standard salad, or even an exotic such as a Waldorf Salad as a side dish... Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott Systems Engineering, Vongchavalitkul University, Korat 30000, Thailand CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V2 #273

From the Chile-Heads recipe list. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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