Som Tam is an extremely popular and well known spicy Thai salad that is enjoyed by people all over the world. Unfortunately for many of us, obtaining good quality ingredients for Thai cooking can be challenging. We have found that where we live, one of the more difficult ingredients to obtain is papaya. When we do find it, is often too ripe and as such the wonderful texture and crunchiness of som tam is lost. This is why we have started using the humble swede as our super papaya replacement! It has the perfect texture, colour and taste to be used as a stand in for papaya. In fact, I am confident enough to say that once you have tried som tam made with swede, you will no longer bother looking for papaya again!
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100g of prawns 130g of grated swede 5 cherry tomatoes (baby tomatoes are fine too) 1 teaspoon of sugar
- lime juice 1 1/2 tbsp
- fish sauce 1 1/2 tbsp 3 bird eye chillies (or more or even less, depending on your tolerance of spice) 1 clove of garlic 5 strings of green beans cut into quarters Handful of roasted cashew nuts
Special Cooking Equipment Used
Step 1: Boil the prawns until pink and cooked (if you are using raw prawns)
Step 2: Whilst the prawns are boiling, peel and grate approx 130g of swede, cut 5 strings of green beans into quarters and trim the ends, and peel 1 clove of garlic
Step 3: Put the garlic, chilli, 1 of the green beans (i.e 4 pieces of quarters) and a pinch of the grated swede into a mortar and pestle, and grind until the ingredients are broken down. (you add the swede to stop the seeds of the chilli bouncing out of the mortar)
Step 4: Now that the chilli and garlic is crushed, you should add the rest of the swede and the green beans, and crush until the green beans are flattened.
Step 5: Cut the tomatoes in half, and add to the mortar, and break them down.
Step 6: Now add the prawns, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and peanuts and crush and mix everything together for a few minutes.
Give the recipe a try using swede and let us know what you think? Can you tell the difference?
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