Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
At Seattle's Little Uncle, chefs Poncharee Kounpungchart and Wiley Frank dehydrate Oregon bay shrimp and crush them into a green papaya salad, where the crustaceans amp up the umami flavor.
Yield: serves 6
- 10 small home-dehydrated or store-bought dried shrimp
- 2 small red Thai chiles, stemmed
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1⁄4 cup tamarind juice
- 1 tbsp. grated palm sugar
- 1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
- 1 lime, cut into 1" pieces
- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 long beans or 6 regular green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 carrot, coarsely shredded
- 1⁄2 English cucumber, seeded and coarsely shredded
- 1⁄6 small green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 lb. unripe green papaya, peeled, quartered, seeded, and finely shredded using a mandoline (about 2 cups)
- 3 tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts
- For home-dehydrated shrimp: dry bay shrimp in dehydrator at 155° for 9 hours.
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush shrimp, chiles, and garlic. Add tamarind juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Squeeze three-quarters of lime pieces over the top and drop into mortar; grind to make a rough dressing. Add remaining ingredients, except peanuts, adding papaya last. Use pestle and a spoon to grind and mix salad until vegetables and fruit are bruised and coated in dressing. Transfer to a serving dish; garnish with remaining lime pieces and peanuts.