Thai Cooking Class (recipe: Som Tom, Papaya Salad)

Last month, we attended a Thai Cooking Class, a benefit evening for our local school district. Three local moms put together a wonderful menu, and helped the guests learn more about Thai cuisine and culture.

Thai Cooking Class Menu
Thai Cooking Class Menu

One of the highlights of the evening was learning to make Som Tom, Papaya Salad.

Traditional Thai Mortar and Pestle
Traditional Thai Mortar and Pestle

Using the traditional mortar and pestle from Thailand, we followed this recipe:

Som Tom (Papaya Salad)

  • 2 cups green papaya, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 dried chili peppers (use to taste)
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 TBS sugar (palm sugar is traditional)
  • 3 TBS lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

In a large mortar (or bowl), mash the 1/2 cup green papaya, chili peppers (1 or 2 to start), and garlic. Crush together, pressing shredded papaya into side of mortar and grinding peppers and garlic. Add in carrots and green beans, and continue to crush together. Add in fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Continue mixing and crushing together. Add in remaining green papaya, peanuts and cherry tomatoes.

Continue mixing and crushing, tasting often to ensure seasonings are correct. Serve.

Check out this video of the making of Som Tom.

Som Tom - Papaya Salad
Som Tom - Papaya Salad

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