Som Tam or Som Dom or Tam Mak Hoong or even Pok Pok as I have read in some sites is a simple green/raw papaya salad made traditionally with palm sugar,shrimp paste,fish sauce and roasted peanuts.The dish is supposed to combine the four main dishes of Thai - sour lime ,chili pepper,salty fish sauce or soy sauce and sweet sugar.This is served as a side to sticky rice .I have adapted my version from here where there were suggestions for the vegetarian/vegan version.
Raw /Green Papaya: 1 cup shredded
Garlic : 2 small cloves
Cherry Tomatoes: 3+
Fresh and preferably young Green Beans: 2+
Green Chillies/ Serrano Chillies: 1+
Lime Juice: 2 tsp
Soy Sauce: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 2-3 tsp
If using whole raw papaya,then peel,wash and chop it into smaller pieces easier to shred and also discard the seeds.To remove the acidity,you can dip the papaya pieces in water for 10 minutes before shredding.Shred the papaya into a bowl.Peel the garlic cloves and halve the cherry tomatoes.Also wash and chop the beans into smaller pieces.
In a mortar and pestle,add the garlic cloves and crush/pound with a pestle.To this add the beans and the halved cherry tomatoes.Pound till the juices oozes out of tomatoes and the beans look bruised.To this add whole chillies and pound again till the hotness of chillies is released.
Add this to a big bowl and mix with shredded papaya and lime juice,soy sauce and sugar.Toss well .You can also mix the salad directly in the mortar and pound it well so that the flavours blend.
The salad is terrific and I have already made it again and again.The ingredient quantities can be adjusted as per taste.The salad taste best when all the ingredients are fresh and young especially the green beans.If it is not tender then some may have difficulty chewing on raw beans.The papaya shines through and I never before tried it this simple way.You can make it beforehand or serve right then or whatever way you wish.Also another think is we are not directly adding salt in this.Salt comes from soy sauce and can be controlled.