Som Tam is staple among the Thai people and a dish all tourists hear about and want to try. If you truly like spicy food then you’ll love Som Tam if you think you like spicy food then be forewarned that som tam could be classified as a class A incendiary device.
The dish is served cold and starts off with an unripened papaya, which by itself is pretty good. Then add in five or so Birdseye peppers (hot), a lime, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, some tomatoes, and if you’re feeling up to it some fermented fish or crab otherwise known as Bla Rah.
This dish looks very innocuous and appetizing and it is very good if you like seriously spicy food otherwise it’s something you have to get used too. I can handle a few spoonfuls here and there now and I love the taste but the Spicy can go down like molten lava.
The first time I tried it my girl and I brought take out back to the apartment one night and she had gotten Som Tam and kept asking me to try it…I told her I knew it was Som Tam and very hot. She just said ” No, teelac not hot I promise”, so I took a big spoonful and started breathing fire! After she stopped laughing she reminded me that it is a cold dish not hot but very spicy.
If you’re looking for a authentic Thai dish that’s very spicy then make sure the next time you’re in your favorite Thai restaurant or in Thailand to give it a go…just make sure ample water is available!
If you fancy yourself a cook then you can find a very good Som Tam recipe over at Joy’s Thai Food as well as many other authentic Thai dishes by an authentic Thai lady.
You can see many more pictures of tasty Thai dishes in the Thai Food Gallery