Carrot Som Tam

Shredded carrot most closely matches the texture, if not the colour or flavour, of green papaya. This recipe is similar to one that has proved successful at the restaurant chain in Thailand where I used to work, and also utilizes ingredients easily found outside of the country. You can of course substitute fresh string beans for the long beans. For the photo, I left out the dried shrimp, since I don't think they add anything to the dish and didn't want to buy a big bag of them for this one dish. By leaving out the shrimp and using … More

Glass Noodle Salad

Glass noodle salads (yum woon sen) are one of the most common yum salads you'll find in Thailand. They can be quite light, but with a sweet and tangy taste. A bit of ground pork is the most common meat, but you can also add a few shrimp or some cooked squid if you like. You can also leave out the meat entirely for a vegetarian version. Glass Noodle Yum Salad For this recipe, the peanuts are usually pan-roasted. Heat a heavy skillet and toss the peanuts in, shaking the skillet until the peanuts are darkened in spots. You can do this … More

Instant Noodle Salad

In Thai: Som Tam Mama Instant noodles - often called Ramen noodles in the US - are a very popular light meal or snack in Thailand. While they may be something you thought you left behind when you left college, chances are you never ate this well back in school. This is not a very common dish, but I have seen it on the menu of some Thai restaurants, although not those that cater to westerners. The Thai-language version I translated this recipe from called for shrimp paste and fermented fish sauce (and by 'fermented' they mean rotten). Since I'm not a … More

Pork with Lime Salad

This is one of my old favorites. The taste is rather unusual and quite extraordinarily spicy. I must admit to taking a bit of perverse pleasure in watching western visitors not familiar with Thai cuisine dig into moo manao on the assumption that a 'salad' - especially one served cool - will not be too spicy. This recipe is extremely easy to make. You can prepare it first and set it aside while cooking a curry or other dish that should be served hot. This dish should be served with some raw 'cooling' vegetables to help take … More

String Bean Som Tam

Thai name: Som Tam Tua Kaek There are those that would insist that som tam can only be made with green papaya, but in fact Thais have created an almost infinite number of variations on the dish, using a variety of fruits and vegetables. This one offers an interesting way to dress up a simple vegetable like fresh green beans. String Bean Som Tam … More