A quick weekday meal…. Thai Som Tum Salad with roasted peanuts

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Mid-week rush and always too much to do. I make this salad very often and I always pick the ingredients for it when I visit Mr Wang’s to stock up my store cupboard. If the ‘not yet ripe’ green papaya is unavailable you can replace it with swede but I am able to use the real thing.

This salad is light with a blend of real thai flavors, the sweet, the salty with the added sourness from the lime however I am using a green local lemon today as our citrus trees are still heavy with fruit and if you have to buy them, a fraction of the price of limes with the same result. This is a perfect lunch produced in 10 minutes and I could easily have it every day. Most important is the freshness of ingredients.

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For two portions, you will need :

Juice of 1/2 lime
2 spoons fish sauce
5 spoons Soy Sauce
1 Garlic clove
2 cups Green papaya, shredded
1 cup green beans, shredded
1/2 cup shredded carrot
6 Cherry tomatoes
Chilies, 2 or less if you do not like it so hot
Cilantro, handful
1 teaspoon carob syrup or you can use Palm Sugar or 1 teaspoon normal sugar
2 tablespoons pan roasted peanuts

Dry roast a handful of peanuts in a very hot pan stirring for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and put into another container as they will keep browning in the hot pan.
Peel the papaya, shred it into thin strips.
Trim the green beans and carrots and cut into thin strips.
Bash the chilies and peeled garlic with a mortar and pestle until they become a textured paste. Do not purée. Add the carob syrup or sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce.
In a large bowl mix all the vegetables and toss with some turn up cilantro leaves.
Serve in a large bowl, pour the dressing, toss again, garnish with a few more cilantro leaves and the peanuts which you can crush if you prefer. We like ours whole and crunchy …

And I leave you with a local flavor and a photo I took of a poem I found under an old carob tree during my walk in the open countryside …. I find carob syrup compliments Asian flavors when a sweetener is required…

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