Monday, June 21, 2010

Som Tam Kab Gung Yang ส้มตำกับกุ้งย่าง Green Papaya Salad With Grilled Tiger Prawns

Som tam (directly translated as sour pounded) or green papaya salad has to be one of the best known Thai dishes around. There are many different versions across the country, some with pickled mud fish or pickled crab (Issarn version) which might not be too appealing to most of you. This is a Central Thai version and it is what one would get in most Thai restaurants outside of Thailand. I paired it with some grilled prawns and boy it was a  marriage made in heaven! You can of course serve it plain, with grilled chicken or poached seafood. If you are unable to get unripe papaya try using carrot instead, it might not be authentic but it will still be pretty delicious. I hope this will make my friends and readers who requested som tam over the last few months very happy. Enjoy!

serves 4 as part of a Thai meal
you'll need;
1 medium size green papaya (yield 2 1/2 cups), peeled and shredded
10 to 12 tiger prawns, peeled and butterflied with head and tails intact, grilled
6 long beans, cut into 5 cm lenghts
11/2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 to 10 bird chilies (adjust to your liking)
5 garlic cloves
2 tbs of palm sugar
2 to 3 tbs of fish sauce
juice of half a lime
a handful of dried shrimp
a handful of crushed peanuts

Peel the unripe papaya and shred it with a corrugated peeler.

If you don't have such a peeler do it the traditional way -  make long shallow cuts lengthwise on the fruit and then shave the cut flesh off.

A medium size fruit should yield 2 to 2 1/2 cups of shredded flesh.

Pound chilies, garlic and palm sugar in a mortar and pestle, slowly add in the dried shrimps and continue to pound. Add long bean and bruise it lightly.

Next add in the shredded green papaya and continue to (gently) pound (I replaced the pestle with a wooden rolling pin at this stage). Slowly add in the fish sauce, tomato wedges and peanuts. More crushing and mixing.

Mix well and check for seasonings. It should taste hot, sour, sweet and salty. Adjust to your liking.

Grill prawns on a hot griddle.

You may serve this plain with wedges of cabbage, thai eggplant and steamed sticky rice.

Or add some grilled prawns or serve along side some Thai bbq chicken.


  1. my dear Tummy anda membuat air liur makcik meleleh..dah lama cari papaya yang muda ni tapi tiada.makcik akan ke pasar ni nak cari papaya muda.Wah sgt tertarik dengan apa yang anda tuliskan"it was a marriage made in heaven!"pastinya combination yang sungguh serasi..udang panggang n som tam..yum yum

  2. fwar.. yours is the rich man's somtam hor.. so huge the prawns. I doubt you get that on the streets in bkk. but wow, when u making this gourmet somtam for us la, C&C :P

  3. Wow deluxe som tum from you! Love it! Where can I get the peeler from?

  4. 酸酸辣辣的好開胃呀。這還加了大烤蝦,超美味!

  5. I love that papaya salad! The peeler is cool.

  6. omg green papaya salad is my fave - and with grilled tiger prawns, this meal is so luxurious!

  7. loikeee! sangat suka dengan makanan nih! tapi sini susah nak jumpa papaya muda. huhuhu... sedihhh! :(

  8. Omg, thats a beautiful dish,mouthwatering dish for the sure..

  9. hi btummy..makcik suka som tum tapi tak pernah makan bersama udang..nak cubalah..mesti sangat sedap kalau tak takkan 'marriage made in heaven'..satu masakan thai yg menyelerakan..tapi yg susahnya nak dapat papaya hijau ni..nampaknya makcik kena pergi rumah sil lah..

  10. Oh I love your version with those grilled prawns! I hope you will make the Vietnamese version next!

  11. OMG! This is a must order for us when we are at a Thai restaurant without the grilled prawns of course!

  12. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY... Where's the som tam with my crab?? Lols.. I'm so demanding....

  13. Oh my, that is making my mouth water and I literally just ate dinner about 5 minutes ago :) Never seen that corrugated peeler before, looks very cool. Also amazed at your traditional-shred method!

    Absolutely love this post

  14. Very yummy! We like to order this too but only mild!

  15. makcikmanggis,
    Terima kasih makcik! Cubalah siapa-siapa yang ada pohon betik in halaman :)

    CUMI & CIKI ,
    Haha thank you! The whole thing only cost us $15. Come over anytime!

    KL girl in MELB ,
    Thank you very much! Try Victoria Street in Richmond.


    Thank you very much!

    Thank you very much! Try making it soon!

    hana ,
    Oh cubalah dengan carot! Sedap jugak!

    Thank you very much!

    mohdandmeriam ,
    Terima kasih makcik. Saya tidak tahu begitu susah nak dapat betik muda di Malaysia. Boleh diganti dengan carrot jugak!

    Pham ,
    Thank you very much! I will make the Vietnamese version soon.

    darren ,
    Thank you! It is very unversally loved indeed!

    msihua ,
    Thank you! Haha maybe next time :)

    Thank you very much! I got mine from an Asian grocer here. Let me know if you want me to get you one.
    Thanks :)

    little panda ,
    Oh it should be hot! haha

  16. Oh you have just made my no. 1 Thai salad of all time! The dish looks good and the grilled prawns are fabulous addition!

  17. Hi tummy!!! mouthwatering! my all time fev ;-) byk version untuk som tum ni, biasanyer akn letak salted crab ya yg kecik2 itam tu tp i tk mkn, udang pun ada nmpk tp dia org boil jerr kalau grill ni xtra yummy lah ! tak pernah pulak terpikir nak buat udang grill ni! thanks 4 de idea tummy! must try! i stay kat bangkok almost 7yr tp byk thai food yg i tak xplore lagi :D silly me!

  18. My goodness, this is also my favourite kinda dish! My mouth is salivating already man! You're making me so hungry. Have a nice day, dear.
    Cheers, Kristy

  19. Harriet from CarltonJune 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    Oh that sure looks good! Marriage made in heaven, I absolutely believe that statement!

  20. Oh great! I must get one of those peelers too.

  21. This looks fantastic! I always order green papaya salads in restaurants, but have never made one at home. This looks easy enough, though, and I'm so excited to try it!

  22. I've never had papaya salad before! What a great idea!
    Lovely and light dish!
    I 'm sure I'll try it out as soon as I can.
    ~B xx

  23. And thanks so much for your wonderful cooment and wishes on my birthday1
    It really means a lot!
    ~Betty Manousos xxxx

  24. This sounds amazing! The combination of papaya and grilled prawns must be fantastic!

  25. WOW! My favorite!! Can't wait to try those ;)

  26. My neighbors used to always ask for my green papayas to use in a salad. I always wanted to try it, but haven't found a good recipe. This one looks great, with a lot of good flavors. I love that peeler, that would be great when making, dumplings and spring rolls too?

  27. Wow, what an awesome papaya and prawns...great pictures as well...absolutely mouth watering :-)

  28. now i'm dying for some shrimp!

  29. some days I feel like I have been living under a rock...I have never seen a peeler like that, it is sooo cool!! your papaya salad looks positively breath taking...I would have to stand up an applaud if anyone ever served me something so beautiful!!!

  30. Neat peeler...I havent seen those around here...I've never had green papaya either....Your dish looks great!

  31. This looks delicious and that peeler is so cool!

  32. I'm on a mission to find that peeler! have never put papaya in a salad - we just chomp on our fruit here - I know - how boring! But this combo with the grilled hrimp is definitely a heavenly match.

  33. I want to eat that! Looks so delicious...and spicy...and it's got shrimps...and it's sour...oh everything's my favourite, except the preparation involved :P

  34. ellow...salam kenal..menarik sgguh resepi d cni..
    mtak izin pjam resepi yea...(*_*)

  35. Wow wow my favourite with extra grilled prawns! Must look for the peeler!

  36. omg!! I am so hungry looking at this dish!

  37. Your version is better than any I have tasted! I would love a peeler like that too!

  38. Wow what a great version! I tried version with pickled crabs and I must say it tasted pretty awful lol

  39. อร่อยมากและใส่กุ้งย่างจะอร่อยยิ่งขึ้น!

  40. PS- just saw your reply, I'll go hunt for one here in Sydney and if I can't find it I'll let you know.Thank you!

  41. oh wow. looks sooooooo good and yummy. well done :-)

  42. a very - very thank you for sharing !!

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