Som Tam

Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook time: 0 | Total time: 30 mins

Course: Appetisers | Servings: 4

Difficulty level: Easy



The cutting of the vegetables that go into this salad is probably the most difficult part of this recipe. We prefer finely sliced juliennes with a sharp knife for the papaya and carrot – roughly 2mm by 2mm strips, and ~1mm thick tomato slices, essential for the dressing to properly coat the vegetables. You could save time by using a julienne peeler for the papaya and carrot, but try not to leave the vegetables either too chunky or too finely grated. 

  • 2 cups raw papaya, peeled, de-seeded and julienned
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and julienned. Remove the central core of the carrot prior to julienning, if tough
  • 1 medium tomato, finely sliced 

Spice paste

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic


  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (avoid light soy sauce – it does not have the thickness to properly coat the vegetables)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp chilli sauce (we use store-bought schezuan chutney)
  • Salt, to taste

Topping / garnishing

  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, slightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  • Add the finely sliced / julienned vegetables to a salad bowl
  • In a mortar-pestle, pound the onion, ginger and garlic into a rough paste
  • Add the spice paste and dressing ingredients into the salad bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust the dressing ingredients as required.
  • When serving, add roasted peanuts and sesame. Mix
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve cold.
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