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Somtam (Mango and Young Papaya Salad)

Somtam is a Thai salad made of fresh ingredients. Semi-ripe papaya and mangoes are used. The bite of this salad is really satisfying with all the taste of sweet, sour, hot and salty all combined. Usually it is made by pounding all the ingredients using a large wooden pestle and mortar but do not despair if you do not have them because tossing the ingredients like making normal salad will do just fine.

somtam ingedrientsSomtam is found sold at the street market in southern Thailand mostly. When you order, the vendor will mix the ingredients on the spot. You can have it as a snack or as an appetizer with other dishes as rice as the main meal. Women especially love somtam.

  • 1 small semi-ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and shredded
  • 1 semi-ripe mangoe, peeled, seeded and shredded
  • 2 long beans, cut into 0.5 cm pieces
  • 4 leaves kaffir lime leaves, rolled and sliced thinly
  • 1 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 bird's eye chilies, bruised


  • 2 tbs thick tamarind juice
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 tbs palm sugar
  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Topping (blended or pounded)


  • 200 g spicy small ikan bilis (prepared ahead or buy ready-to-eat snack ikan iblis)
  • 200g dried prawns, washed and pat dry
  • 50 g roasted peanuts
  • 50g roasted sesame seeds
  • Some fresh coriander, shredded


  • Combine fruits and vegetables in a large bowl and toss the dressing over.
  • Just before serving, sprinke topping over the mixture above.
  • It is best to eat it immediately after preparation because if you let it sit for more than 30 minutes the vegetables will get watery and this salad will lose its crunchiness.

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