Som tam has fast become one of the most widely eaten and popular salads to come out of Asia. It originates from Lao, but now has many well-known variations from all over. The use of clementine, which adds a natural sweetness, along with the juices of the grilled prawns, makes it a stand out dish. Try it with some sticky rice and some ginger and green sweet chilli dipping sauce for a proper feed.
Grilled Tiger Prawns & Citrus Som Tam Salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 people (adjust for need)
- 8-10 prawns, cleaned, deveined and outer shells removed
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons dried shrimp
- a pinch of Maldon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon peanuts, fried or roasted
- 3 red bird’s-eye chillies (more if you like it spicy)
- 10g green beans, chopped in half
- 30g cherry tomatoes
- 200g shredded green papaya (can be found in most Asian supermarkets)
- 10–15g palm sugar
- 20ml thick tamarind water
- juice of 2 limes
- ½ lime, chopped with the zest on
- juice of 1 clementine
1. Coat the prawns in the fish sauce and oil, then place them on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the side in contact with the heat has turned pink. Turn the prawns over and repeat on the other side until they are hot throughout. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Pound the garlic and dried shrimp in a mortar and pestle, using the salt as an abrasive. Then break up the peanuts just enough to mix through the salad; be careful not to overdo them or they will turn into peanut butter.
3. One by one, add the chillies, green beans, tomatoes, grilled prawns and papaya to the mortar, bruising them as you go to distribute the flavours.
4. Add the palm sugar, tamarind water, lime juice, chopped lime and the juice of 1 clementine.
5. Give the salad a final bruising to ensure all ingredients are packed full of the flavoursome dressing, ensuring the palm sugar has completely dissolved.
6. Taste the dressing to check that it suits your tastes – it should be sweet, salty, sour and spicy with a hint of bitterness from the lime zest. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then serve!
- Sticky rice
- PAYST ginger and green sweet chilli dipping sauce