Thai, Twice

WOW. I have really really slacked on the posting lately and apologies all around. I’ve kind of taken a break for a little bit and re-evaluated my diet and lifestyle. I hate to say it, but I’m weaning off the super high raw for a little bit… as delicious as the foods are, I just can’t see myself limiting myself to eating a certain group of items (raw goat cheese, avocados, sweet potatoes, raw veggies) or not eating a particular group of things (bread, french toast, chocolate lava cake, etc.) All stuff in moderation, right? Well, I have to start practicing this so what I’m going to do instead is just make sure every meal (or most meals I have) are accompanied by a nice raw salad and then I can eat whatever else I want. I don’t know, it’s just an experiment to see how my body reacts but I love food and variety too much.

So onto something completely different: thai food. Actually, the thai papaya salad (aka SOM TAM), which I have grown to love and crave most days of the week. I picked up the salad at Araya Thai Cuisine in Westchester, CA and ordered two of them so I could take one to work the next day. Thinkin’ ahead, I am…

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I love making this dish at home (I even bought the mortar and pestle used specifically for this dish from a Thai import company online lol) and I usually use this recipe from realthairecipes.com:

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon whole :garlic: cloves
  • 2-10 :small chilies:, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon :palm sugar:
  • 1 tablespoon :fish sauce:, or 1/2 teaspoon :salt:
  • 1 :long bean:, broken into 1.5″ pieces
  • 1 :tomato:
  • 2 teaspoons :lime: juice
  • 1 cup shredded :green papaya:
  • 3 tablespoons dry roasted :peanuts:
  • 1 tablespoon :dried small shrimp:
  • DIRECTIONS
  1. First prepare the papaya by peeling the dark green skin. Then, hold the papaya in your hand, and smack the fruit lengthwise with a good sized knife. You want to create 1/2″ or so deep cuts into the fruit. Do this over and over until you’ve created a good amount of cuts. Watch your fingers! Then, cut the papaya lengthwise to produce long strips. You can also buy tools which can create long shreds, or even use a cheese grater (the big holes). Thai people use the knife method though!
  2. In a ceramic mortar & pestle, add the whole garlic cloves and chilies. Pound with the pestle a few times to mash, then add the long beans.
  3. Pound a few more times, and add a pinch of papaya. This helps mix the garlic & chilies. Pound some more.
  4. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce or salt and pound more. Make sure everything is well mixed.
  5. Add the tomato, chopped into large pieces. Pound more, but not as hard. Add the lime juice, dried shrimp and the rest of the papaya. Pound about 10-15 times while mixing with a spoon. You want to evenly coat the papaya with the juices while pounding the flavor into the papaya, but don’t pound so hard that the papaya disintegrates. Add the peanuts, mix and serve.
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