Today’s Doodle celebrates the signature Thai dish, Som Tum, a sweet and spicy green papaya salad that is also popular in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. On this day in 2012, Thailand’s Department of Cultural Promotion registered Som Tum as a national intangible cultural heritage food.

Like many of the world’s favorite dishes, the origins of som tum are shrouded in mystery. Most food historians believe the delicious salad originated in Laos because of its rich history in the historic Isaan region, which covers parts of northeastern Thailand and borders Laos. The classic Thai recipe calls for spicy Thai chilies balanced with palm sugar, garlic, shrimp, fish sauce, peanuts, lemon, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and green papaya.

The term “Som tum” is a combination of two Isaan words translated “pie flavor” and “pound” and reflects the first step in the preparation of the salad, in which the pestle and pestle are used to combine several ingredients into a pie. Salad dressing. The dressing is mixed with the remaining ingredients and topped with roasted peanuts for added savory crunch. The final product is a salad that is salty, sweet, spicy, sour, and bitter all at once – a flavor combination that defines Thai cuisine.

How the dish is prepared varies by region, but many pair this popular Thai dish with sticky rice. For those new to som tum, it is recommended to pay attention to the number of chilis included in your salad as they are very spicy!

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