Spicy goodness to put a spring in your step

karen thai

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:

Christmas on the beat
Clonakilty town aims to get snowed under with the return of the Clonakilty Christmas Express
On call for Christmas
Have your say in shaping the future of Clonakilty
Dursey Island project passes first phase in Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme
Minister Ring visits superb rural initiatives in West Cork
West Cork farms celebrated at Milk Awards
Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence

Join us on Facebook

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

TRADING THROUGH BREXIT - BREXIT BRIEFING SERIES LAUNCHED
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney T.D. is hosting a number of Brexit Breakfast Briefings in Cork in the coming weeks. The first in the series takes place on Monday, 4 December at the Carrigaline Court Hotel at 7:30am until 9am. Business owners, retailers and those involved in tourism in the region are invited to attend the free briefing, which will see Minister Coveney providing an update on Brexit negotiations, his insights and also practical ways to begin preparing for Brexit.

The Brexit Breakfast information events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend, however registration is required by emailing simon.coveney@oir.ie or call 021 4374200
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Keep an eye out for Croíúil Trad group
from Rosscarbery and the Munster Champions U-12 Ceili Band from Bandon, both performing on next weekend's The Late Late Toy Show, airing on Friday, December 1 on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
... See MoreSee Less

27th November, 2017  ·  

Meet Santa and his elves, penguins and polar bears at Leapland, which returns to Leap Village on December 2. A magical experience for little ones who can visit from Mon-Fri 5pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-8pm. Call 087 7427016 for enquiries. ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

And here's our lucky winner Sandra picking up her voucher from Warren Allen this morning from the lovely model Maebh. Happy shopping Sandra! ... See MoreSee Less

21st November, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top