Spicy goodness to put a spring in your step

Posted on: 5th February, 2014

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

As soon as I land in Thailand I have a yen for Som Tam. This spicy, zesty salad is sold on the street, in the bus stations and at all the little restaurants. In fact it’s pretty much everywhere and one of my favourites. I find that I read the menu from top to bottom with all the tempting noodles, seafood and curry dishes and can’t help but order Som Tam.

It’s like a Thai version of cole slaw, with crunchy julienned green papaya, a few shredded carrots and maybe some tomato and snapped up snake beans. It’s healthier than coleslaw, as the dressing is made with lime juice , chopped chillies, garlic and nam pla. It’s topped with a sprinkle of roasted and crushed peanuts. I have to admit this is part of the allure as I am something of a peanut fiend.

There are plenty of variations. The one from the bus station was served in a plastic bag, the top secured with an elastic band and it almost blew our heads off. It made my eyes and nose run and my lips were singing with the chilli. Quite a blast. Here on the island where we are staying it’s pretty spicy, but still tame compared to the bus station version.

I like to make this when I’m home in Ireland but, as green papayas are hard to come by, I use green mangoes, which are plentiful. I don’t usually bother with the beans even though raw French beans make a reasonable substitution for the snake beans and I usually skip the tomatoes too, as Thai tomatoes are drier than the ones that we can get.

This basically pares it down to green mango, roasted and crushed peanuts and the dressing. It’s delicious. In fact green mangoes are perhaps tastier than the green papaya. Dressed with the spicy sauce, it makes a fast and tasty lunch and will add a spring to your step.

 

SOM TAM

Ingredients:

1 big green mango or 2 smaller ones

Brown skin peanuts

2-4 cloves garlic

2-4  birds eye chillies

1 tsp sugar

1 tbs dried shrimp, soaked in warm water (optional)

juice of 1-2 limes – depends how big and juicy they are

2tbs fish sauce – nam pla

Roast the peanuts in a tray in the oven, 180c, until the skins will rub off and the peanuts are light brown. It’s important to roast the peanuts enough as it gives a better flavour. Tip the peanuts into a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Pick the peanuts out – you can take them outside and blow the skins away otherwise just sort through them. Put them into a mortar and lightly crush them, you want fairly big bits.

Chop the chilli and garlic together and mix together with the lime juice, nam pal and sugar. Drain the shrimp and roughly chop then stir into the dressing.

Peel the mango, cut into thin slices then cut into matchsticks – julienne.

Put the mango into a bowl, toss together with the dressing and sprinkle the peanuts on top.

Serve immediately.

By the time that you read this recipe we will have returned to Ireland sunned and inspired by our travels.

No doubt next month’s recipe will be a warming stew!

 

Karen@lettercollum.ie

www.lettercllum.ie

www.lettercollumkitchenproject.wordpress.com

Latest News Articles:

Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat

Join us on Facebook

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
... See MoreSee Less

16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
... See MoreSee Less

15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
... See MoreSee Less

13th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top