Somtam : Papaya Salad, a deserved Thai National Dish

22 Sep

When asking the local Thai people about national dish, lots of people would have different opinions, but surely though, Somtam would be amongst the top 3  The other 2 being Krapraow -or the stir-fried basil with meat dish, and probably the omlettes. It is obviously different when ask the overseas Thai, whereTom Yam goong or Tom Kha Gai would definitely be on the list.  But hey, these are the dishes that people don’t get bored of.

Since I came back from China, I’ve been craving for lots of spicy food, and one of them is Somtam or the Papaya Salad. Traditionally, this dish is a north-eastern dish consists of basic ingredients such as shreaded green papaya, long beans, tomatos flavoured by bird eyed chilis, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice.  For the typical Thai girl like me and other friend, the name alone would make our mouth watering…and craving for the delicious dish.

Homemade Somtam

Homemade Somtam

The best Somtam in my opinion are probably at down and dirty places, just anywhere but posh restaurants. We make the dish at home, but I somehow feel that it’s too clean!! Maybe I’m a little nuts but it is one of few dishes at home that I think doesn’t taste right.

Somtam with Salted Eggs

Somtam with Salted Eggs

Somtam can be eat alone, or can be accomodated with grilled chicken and sticky rice.  It is the dish that full of nutritions low fat, fantastic taste and is one of the top choices for girls who are on diet.

Homemade Somtam Set

Homemade Somtam Set

 Somtam is not just a local dish,  it’s spread throughout the country, I’m not quite sure if it’s a Thai dish or a Lao dish, but one of the best Somtam I had was in Vientiane a few years ago. The food portions in Laos are twice as the size we have in Thailand but my Japanese colleague was enjoying it so much that he ordered the second plate, after a little while, I noticed he started sweating like mad, his face turned red but he still wouldn’t put down the fork. He kept eating and eating, it’s almost like an eating competition of some kind. By the time when he finally finished the dish, we were just watching in awe.  I found out later that the reason he couldn’t stop eating was because the spice would get to him as soon as he stop, so he had to continue to eat it.. Hmm..

More Homemade Somtam

More Homemade Somtam

 As I’m writing this blog, I’m trying to figure out where is the best local somtam place in my new office area, so far I’ve found none, maybe I’ll have to have  it deliver from my favourite somtam place sometime very very soon.


One Response to “Somtam : Papaya Salad, a deserved Thai National Dish”

  1. Bill Bartmann October 10, 2009 at 3:13 am #

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

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