When people think of a healthy Thai dish, Som Tum or Papaya salad is one of the first dishes that comes to mind. Originating from Laos and the northeastern regions of Thailand, Som Tum has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy – the essential flavours of Thai cuisine. The bold flavours combined with fresh ingredients make this one of the most loved dishes amongst Thais and people around the world. In Thailand, there are countless other variations that have been adapted from the traditional Som Tum by using this salad dressing with different core ingredients – like the fruit here. You can enjoy the health benefits of seasonal fruit with a kick of flavours.
Ingredients: (3-4 serves)
- Whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. We recommend having a mix of sweet and sour fruit that is crunchy and not too ripped. Our go-to’s are green apples, strawberries, pineapples, & grapes. We are using ½ Cup for each
- ½ Cup Cherry/ any small tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- At least one chili, we are using 3-4 for this recipe (Adjust according to your preference)
- 2 tbsp. dried shrimp (optional)
- 2 tbsp. Fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp. palm sugar
- A handful of roasted unsalted cashew nuts (optional)
- Mint for garnish
- Wash dried shrimp and soak them in hot water, set aside
- Wash fruits and cut them into bite-size
- Pound the dried shrimp in a mortar until flaky, then grind them together with the hot chilli & garlic until well broken up. Mix in palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Keep pounding until the sugar dissolve.
- Toss together with the fruit until they are well coated.
- Plate, sprinkle with cashew nuts and garnish with mint.
- If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, bruised and roughly chop garlic, chilli and dried shrimp. Then mix them with other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- You can let the salad sit for a bit to let the flavours soak into the fruit deeper. Then add the cashew nuts right before serving.
- Leave some fresh fruit on the side to help you cool down from the spice!
Recipe for WLSA by Natt, a Thai home cook living in Melbourne.