Som Tam is a spicy Thai salad which is made usually with papaya and a variety of vegetables. Garlic, Thai chilies, lime juice, brown sugar, peanuts, dry shrimps and fish sauce are also added to this refreshing, but sometime spicy salad. Just let the cook know if you don’t want any chilis in it.
The meaning of Som Tam doesn’t really have to do with papaya, although papaya is the most common version of this dish. Som Tam is more of a technique, where sour salads are pounded together in a large mortar and pestle. The most common ingredients will be green (unripe) fruits but in practice the Som Tam can be anything from fresh fruit to various vegetable substitutes.
Somtam Polamai, or Sweet and Sour Mixed Fruit Salad, includes fresh fruits such as dragon fruit, guava, pineapple and grapes mixed with peanuts and shredded carrots. The taste of this salad is sweet, hot, salty and sour.
This salad can be found everywhere, especially in local markets.