Green papaya salad is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. Locally known in Cambodia as bok l’hong (Khmer: បុកល្ហុង), pronounced [ɓok lhoŋ], in Laos as tam som (Lao: ຕໍາສົ້ມ) or the more specific name tam maak hoong (Lao: ຕໍາໝາກຫຸ່ງ), in Thailand as som tam (Thai: ส้มตำ, pronounced [sôm tam]), and in Vietnam as goi du du. Som tam, the Thai variation, was listed at number 46 on World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
1.1 Additional ingredients
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
Unripe papaya is sliced into thin strips during preparation
The dish combines the five main tastes of the local cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, salty, savory fish sauce, and sweetness added by palm sugar. The ingredients are mixed and pounded in a mortar; The general Lao name tam som literally means “pounded sour”, however, the more specific Lao name tam maak hoong literally means “pounded papaya”. In Khmer, the name bok l’hong also means “pounded papaya”. In Thai, the name som tam, (a reversal of the Lao name), literally translates as “sour pounded”. However, other pounded salads in Thailand are consistent with the Lao naming convention in which the word tam (“pounded”) is listed first.
Despite the use of papaya, which one may think of as sweet, this salad is actually savory. When not yet ripe, papaya has a slightly tangy flavor. The texture is crisp and firm, sometimes to the point of crunchiness. It is this that allows the fruit to withstand being beaten in the mortar.
Street vendor from Isan pounding green papaya salad in Bangkok
Green papaya salad, grilled chicken and sticky rice is a popular combination in Thailand
Together with the papaya, some or most of the following secondary items are added and pounded in the mortar with the pestle:
Sugar (traditionally palm sugar)
Papaya salad is often served with sticky rice and kai yang/ping gai (grilled chicken). It can also be eaten with fresh rice noodles (Lao: sen khao poon / Thai: khanom chin) or simply as a snack by itself with, for instance, crispy pork rinds. The dish is often accompanied by raw vegetables on the side to mitigate the spiciness of the dish.
A non-spicy green papaya salad version also exists in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, which is much sweeter; it often contains crushed peanuts, and is less likely to have padaek or brined crab. These last are eaten raw, and both the Lao government and Thai government periodically issues health warnings about the risk of hepatitis. Dried brine shrimp are used in this Central Thai version. There are also versions that make use of unripe mangoes, apples, cucumbers, carrots, and other firm vegetables or unripe fruit.
There are many versions of this salad in Cambodia, but it will always include unripe papaya.Instead of papaya, other ingredients can be used as the main ingredient. Popular variations in Laos and Thailand include:
Tam maak taeng / Tam taengkwa, with cucumber, usually the small variety
Tam maak muang / Tam mamuang, with green and unripe mango
Tam maak kuai / Tam kluai, with banana, while still green and unripe
Tam krathon, with santol, while still hard and unripe
Tam hua pli, with banana flower
Tam mayom, with Malay gooseberry
Tam som o, with pomelo
Tam mu yo, with mu yo sausage
Tam phonlamai ruam, with mixed fruit
Green papaya salad
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia