Green Papaya Salad

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Green Papaya Salad
(Som Tam Thai)


Originally an lsan dish from the northeast, this healthy mixture of raw vegetables is now prepared by roadside vendors all over the county. Som Tam captures the essentail flavors of Thailand: chili hot, redolent with garlic and fish sauce, and sour with lime juice. The basic ingredient, unripe papaya, contrasts in texture with crunchy raw beans and peanuts. If unripe papaya is not available, very thinly sliced cabbage may be substututed.
Ingregients (serves 4)
2-5 bird's-eye chilies
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
1 tablespoon dried shrimp or prawns, soaked in warm water for 5 minutes and drained
5 cloves garlic
10 oz (300 g) unripe green papaya, peeled and shredded using a sharp knife or vegetable grater
1/2 cup (50 g) long beans or gree beans, cut in 1/2-in (1 cm) pieces
6 ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 1 large tomato, in wedges
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 cups raw vegetables (cabbage, water spinach, broccoli, as paragus)
3 spings Thai basil (horapa)

Preparation
1 Take the chilies, peanuts, dried shrimp and garlic and pound roughly in a mortar and pestle or process very briefly in a blender. The mixture should be coarse, not smooth.
2 Cmobine mixture in a bowl with the shredded papaya, bean and tomato. Mix well and add the lime juice, palm sugar and fish sauce.
3 Serve accompanied by other row vegetables (cabbage, water spinach, broccoli or asparagus) and and sprigs of Thai basil. For a complete meal, add glutinous rice and Barbecued Chicken
Tips -- Prepare the salad immediately before serving, otherwise the papaya will lose it firm texture.

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