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Thai Food Recipe: Som Tam Bla Rah!

Thai Food: Som Tam Bla Rah!
(Spicy papaya salad with fermented fish/crab sauce)

Som Tam (Som Tum) spicy papaya salad.


Shredded unripe papaya for making Som Tam.

5 peppers
3 garlic
1 tomato (sliced)

1 eggplant (sliced)
1 fermented crab
1 handful chopped papaya
1 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. fermented fish juice (Bla rah)
2 pieces lemon
1 tsp. sugar or palm sugar

Som Tam Instructions:

1. Pound chili peppers and garlic together. Add tomato, eggplant, and fermented crab. Then, mix it with fish sauce, bla rah, lemon, and sugar.

2. Use a pestle to crush and mix all the ingredients together. Starting with garlic, chilies and then the rest.

3. Put papaya in and mix it by pestle or spoon. Now your som tam bla rah is ready to be served.

4. Lay fresh vegetable, cucumber, cabbage, string bean or morning glory for example, on the side. Cucumber is good for taking away some of the spiciness of the chilies. So too is eating each bite with some rice. Eating som tam plain without rice is sacreligious in Thailand.

Som Tam Tip
Using a pestle to pound and mix the ingredients with papaya makes the sauce get into the papaya better than stirring. It will also make your Som tam juicy!

My Som Tam video at YouTube >

:P

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

If you want to see Som Tam recipe in another language click link:

Som Tam in French

Som Tam in German

Som Tam in Spanish



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • admin

    Som Tam Bla Rah (blara, plara, pla rah) is an amazing dish that is addictive after a short time. If you like hot spicy chili dishes and you also like sour, this is the perfect Thai food dish. You just need to get used to eating fermented fish sauce, which I got over by the second time I ate som tam bla ra. Most western people can’t eat it but if you come to Thailand and you can eat it – the Thais’ will adopt you as one of their own. Don’t worry, even most Thais can’t eat it very spicy – it can be TOO MUCH! If you try it – make sure you say “mai pedt” or, (my pet) which means not spicy. They will still use a couple chilis and it will still be spicy – but you won’t die from it. In Isaan – the Northeast where Joy is from they grab a handful of super spicy, large red and green chilis. There are 15 or more peppers. If you can eat that, you ARE Thai. I can eat half a meal of it – but need to switch to something cooler for the 2nd half of the meal. Still – I find myself sneaking some more bites at the end of the meal. Som tam plara IS addictive. No doubt! – Vern, Joy’s husband

  • Xina

    Joy – I am so happy to have found your website! I LOVE SOM TAM! From the first moment I tasted it I hunted down the ladies and the carts that the salad comes from. Now back at home in the UK, and Australia I’m always on the lookout for green papayas. Lucky day when I find one. Now, may I please ask: what is your technique for preparing it? I have been using a big chopper and being really fed up by the end of the whole chopping process (until I taste it of course). Any tips please? or any machines to help?

  • Joy

    Hi Xina,

    Thank you for writing me. Som tam is made by using a heavy knife and holding the unripe papaya in left hand while swinging the heavy knife with right hand long-ways and making 1/2 inch cuts in it over and over and over… then, shaving those cuts off like peeling a carrot with a knife…

    Turn to a new side and repeat… hope you can understand that!

    :) Good luck! :P Joy

  • MACIE

    HI JOY..

    I WAS WONDERING IF I CAN GET THE FERMENTED CRAB AND FERMENTED FISH JUICE AT THE STORE BECAUSE I LOVE TO EAT PAPAYA SALAD BUT I THINK I AM MISSING THOSE TWO INGREDIENTS IN MY SALAD..CAN U PLEASE LINK ME TO A STORE..I LIVED IN SACRAMENTO..THANKS FOR HAVING A GREAT RECIPES HERE..

  • Joy

    Hi Macie,

    Thank you for commenting! I wish I could tell you where to go – maybe someone will write in and tell you. I live in Thailand – have not been to usa. Glad you enjoy my recipes!

    :) Joy

  • Deborah

    Hi Joy I have a friend mom she makes this dish called Tum Thai I don’t know if I spelled it right but its also a spicy dish and she makes sticky rice to go with it is this dish the same as the above dish kind of looks similar to it if it helps she’s from Asia

  • Ao Phet Phet. Where can you buy pla ra? Stinky but delicious. Tried this recipe once before at a Moo Kata restaurant that had a som tam corner :)