Thai Som Tam Is So Good

A collection of my favorite Thai green papaya salads and its interesting variants like corn or avocado som tam.

Som Tam Thai

Photo: Boripat Lebel

The legendary som tam Thai pok pok. Crunchy strips of green papaya, firm red tomatoes and raw yardlong beans, sweet and sour juices, roasted peanuts and dried shrimp, combined, provide an explosive gastronomical experience.

Som Tam With Salted Duck Egg

Photo: Boripat Lebel

While the original som tam Thai pok pok is a singular dish of exceptional deliciousness, the addition of a salted duck egg provides a third taste to this otherwise sweet and sour papaya salad. And with an extra two chiles, the concert of flavors promises to be a culinary extravaganza.

Som Tam Mour

Photo: Boripat Lebel

Jungle salad is a savory and chaotic version of the green papaya salad (i.e. pizzazzy som tam Thai pok pok). The pickled fish gives this dish an umami quality, the rice vermicelli balances the flavors, and fermented pork sausage provides some firm texture to chew on.

Corn Som Tam

Photo: Boripat Lebel

Corn pok pok salad. Similar to Thailand’s legendary papaya salad but with freshly steamed corn. The colors of the elements combined are kaleidoscopic, and the flavors a sweet and sour jazz. In other words, a highly recommended dish for those who like their food full of pizzazz!

Avocado Som Tam

Photo: Pakagrong Lebel

Avocado Thai salad. So good. Creamy and perfectly textured ripe avocado, crispy carrots and juicy tomatoes, with a great splash of saucy sweet, sour and salty dressing. Garnished with a big spoon of freshly roasted peanuts. It was an explosion of flavours in my mouth.

Published by Boripat Lebel

Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Chiang Mai University. He authored the eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” Boripat can also be found on LinkedIn .

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