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Green papaya salad (som tam)


2 tbsp raw, unsalted peanuts
1-10 red bird’s eye chillies (depending on your spice tolerance)
5 small (or 2–3 large) garlic cloves
1 1⁄2 tbsp palm sugar
2 yard-long beans (or green beans), cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (or 2 teaspoons salt)
1⁄2 medium green papaya, peeled and shredded
1 carrot, shredded


1. In a small dry frying pan, toast the peanuts over a medium heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Coarsely pound the chillies and garlic together using a pestle and mortar. Add the palm sugar, beans and tomatoes.

3. Lightly pound to combine, then squeeze in the lime juice and fish sauce. Lightly pound again, then add the green papaya and carrot. Pound again and toss to combine. The taste should be sweet and salty in perfect balance, with a sharp, sour and spicy tang.

4. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl and sprinkle over the toasted peanuts.

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