10 - 15 Minutes
20 - 25 Minutes
In spite of being an Indian (used to spicy food) the first time I had this salad ''Thai-style'' my eyes didn't stop watering for the whole evening, then needed 1.5 litres of water, 3 antacids and 1 carton of chilled milk to soothe my stomach. Learnt my lesson the harder way of ''NEVER underestimating the Thai spiciness''! These red chillies (birds eye chillies) can fire you up enough to reach the moon and back!
The dish combines the four main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, salty, savoury fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar.
In Thai, the name som tam, (a reversal of the Lao name), literally translates as "sour pounded".
Traditionally the local variety of green papaya salad in the streets of Bangkok is very hot due to the addition of a fistful of chopped hot Bird's eye chili, however with its rising popularity among tourists, it is often served now not as hot.
Thai Basil Leaves
2 tbsp, chopped
2 tbsp, chopped
4 - 5 (optional)
2 tbsp, roasted, peeled
1 - 2 (optional)
1 - 2, slit and deseeded
Clean and wash the chicken breasts. Make a few slits, marinate in some olive oil salt and pepper. Set aside for atleast 15 - 20 minutes.
Wash and dry the papaya. Cut it in half and remove the seeds. I find it's easier to remove the skin with a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler because the skin can be thick (like mango skin).
Grate the papaya and set aside. Add the washed and chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.
Roast and peel the peanuts, slit and de-seed the green chilli and add them to the grated papaya.
In a mortar and pestle you can pound the garlic, chillies, onions and tomato together to make a chunky "paste".
If not, put the garlic,chillies and onions into your food processor and roughly grind them. Add your tomatoes and pulse a couple of times.
You don't want to make a puree; you should have a chunky paste.
OR if you don't want to make a rough paste of it all, then the tomatoes, onions can be and garlic can be roughly chopped and added.
Remove your paste to a mixing bowl and add in the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.
Heat a pan, and grill the chicken on both sides till well done. Allow it to cool and shred.
Finally, toss all the ingredients together and adjust the seasoning one last time.
Can be served chilled or right away!