Cuisines: Thai

Thai Lemongrass Chicken

Thai Lemongrass Chicken

It’s official, well it’s been official, it’s finally grilling season in Wisconsin. Not that I haven’t been grilling all year long, but the weather is finally getting a lot more nice in Wisconsin. So this past Mother’s day weekend was full of cooking for my […]

Thai Larb Fried Rice

Thai Larb Fried Rice

Have you ever made, or tried Thai larb? Some refer to it as laap, lap, lahb, but I’ve always know it as larb. Regardless, it could possibly be one of my favorite Thai dishes, and it’s one I make quite a bit, probably because of […]

Som Tam with Vermicelli

Som Tam with Vermicelli

If you have never had som tam, or commonly referred to as Thai papaya salad, then you are missing out in my opinion. It is probably one of my most, let’s say top 25 foods, favorite of all time. You never really see it on many menus, at least in my area, so it’s often best to gather up a handful of great Asian ingredients and attempt at making it your own. My wife probably thinks I’m a nut at times as I have a lot of Asian ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator, but when it ever comes time to whip up a great ethnic meal, I’m stocked and ready. Som tam is essentially a salad made from unripened papaya. You peel the exterior skin of the papaya, then shred the interior into thin strips, of which get lightly pounded with chilies, lime, garlic, shrimp, tomatoes and fish sauce. It’s the perfect balance of Thai flavors which result in spicy, sweet, sour, and savory. To me, this dish is so addicting, and delicious that it has you craving it like no other.

Som Tam with Vermicelli

With that said, the addition of rice vermicelli elevates this sam tam like no other. I don’t know why I’ve never used the vermicelli in this som tam before, but I don’t think I am going to look back. The noodles make this dish even better, and when you are not using sticky rice, then this is a perfect pairing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 unripe green papaya, peeled, and shredded
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 4 Thai bird chilies, stems removed (add more/less for heat)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste, or dried shrimp
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 whole lime, quartered
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 lb rice vermicelli, cooked
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, optional

Start by cooking your rice vermicelli. You can find this at your local Asian market. Cook until al dente, then drain, and rinse with cold water. Once cooled and drained, set aside into a bowl.

Som tam is typically made with an Asian mortar and pestle, and you can also pick this up at any local Asian market. It’s a standard in my house, not only for making som tam, but also fresh salsas on occasion.

Add the garlic, and chilies to the to bottom of the mortar. With the pestle, start mashing up the garlic and chilies, almost into a paste. Add the half of the lime, and continue to mash. Add the tomatoes, and lightly smash those as well. Use a spoon as you are mashing with the pestle, mixing along the way. Add the palm sugar, and shrimp paste, and continue to mix and mash. Add the shredded papaya, along with the fish sauce, and continue to lightly bruise the papaya, mixing along the way.

How to make som tam with noodles

When you are ready to serve, add a handful of the rice vermicelli to the bottom of a serving bowl, and top with the som tam mixture. Top with roasted peanuts. Use a fork and spoon to mix everything together, and then dig in.

Everything screams Thai with this recipe. Again, it’s spicy, sour, sweet, and overall, addicting. You want to talk about a great side dish, or heck, even main dish for that matter, then this is it. I remember turning my coworkers onto this som tam (without the vermicelli) a couple of years ago, and they have still talked about it to this day. Simple ingredients. Huge impact. Add the vermicelli next time you make som tam, and let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy!

Som Tam with Vermicelli
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 unripe green papaya, peeled, and shredded
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 4 Thai bird chilies, stems removed (add more/less for heat)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste, or dried shrimp
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 whole lime, quartered
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • ½ lb rice vermicelli, cooked
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking your rice vermicelli. You can find this at your local Asian market. Cook until al dente, then drain, and rinse with cold water. Once cooled and drained, set aside into a bowl.
  2. Som tam is typically made with an Asian mortar and pestle, and you can also pick this up at any local Asian market. It’s a standard in my house, not only for making som tam, but also fresh salsas on occasion.
  3. Add the garlic, and chilies to the to bottom of the mortar. With the pestle, start mashing up the garlic and chilies, almost into a paste. Add the half of the lime, and continue to mash. Add the tomatoes, and lightly smash those as well. Use a spoon as you are mashing with the pestle, mixing along the way. Add the palm sugar, and shrimp paste, and continue to mix and mash. Add the shredded papaya, along with the fish sauce, and continue to lightly bruise the papaya, mixing along the way.
  4. When you are ready to serve, add a handful of the rice vermicelli to the bottom of a serving bowl, and top with the som tam mixture. Top with roasted peanuts. Use a fork and spoon to mix everything together, and then dig in.

 

Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

It’s official, it’s spring time in the United States! For you warmer climate states, that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, but to us Northerners, it means a great deal. It’s the first time we can see our yards, granted they are littered […]

Thai Style Burger

Thai Style Burger

This past weekend was loaded with some new recipe creations, including that of the Thai three sauce, and an array of other items. As I was planning out dinner for the family, I decided to make some of their favorite Vietnamese style chicken, along with […]

Thai Three Sauce

Thai Three Sauce

I am a huge fan of great sauces, especially when it comes to Thai sauces. Examples being the Thai shallot sauce, Nam Prik Ong, and one of my favorite Vietnamese sauces, nuoc cham. One thing I love about these sauces is they all bring together the best of sweet, spicy, and sour, and to me those are just the right combination in flavors.

There is another sauce that in my opinion can be used on pretty much everything and it just explodes with flavor. It is know as Thai three sauce, and once tried, you will be totally hooked. I find myself actually taking small spoonfuls, yes eating it alone (as it is that good), and I find myself coming back for more. It’s addicting and could very well be one of my favorite sauces.

Thai Three Flavors Sauce

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 25 Thai Bird Chilies, red and green
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed
  • 1 cup of shallots
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup tamarind nectar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Start by adding the chilies, garlic, shallots, and cilantro, along with half of the water into a food processor, and pulse down until you have an even, smooth consistency, no chunks.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add in the oil. Once heated, add in the chili mixture, and stir.

Add in your remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes until it reduces a bit.

My wife told me to crank up the fans as she is not one for the smell of fish sauce, or even when vinegar is cooking on the stove, so it’s probably best to turn on the exhaust fan as after all, you are cooking with a lot of chilies and fish sauce. I don’t much mind the smell to be quiet honest with you, but it’s your call.

Thai Three Flavor Sauce

Let cool, then store in a seal tight container for up to several weeks. Trust me, it will not last that long as this stuff rocks.

I know it sounds like a lot of chili peppers, but trust me, the addition of the salty fish sauce, and balanced by both the brown and palm sugars, it is a perfect sweet heat. I actually had a spoonful this morning before putting some on my omelette.  This sauce goes extremely well with things like fried fish, eggs, or just as a condiment for things like french fries. Give a go at it, and let me know how you like it. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Three Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • 25 Thai Bird Chilies, red and green
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed
  • 1 cup of shallots
  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro, packed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup tamarind nectar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the chilies, garlic, shallots, and cilantro, along with half of the water into a food processor, and pulse down until you have an even, smooth consistency, no chunks.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add in the oil. Once heated, add in the chili mixture, and stir.
  3. Add in your remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes until it reduces a bit.
  4. My wife told me to crank up the fans as she is not one for the smell of fish sauce, or even when vinegar is cooking on the stove, so it’s probably best to turn on the exhaust fan as after all, you are cooking with a lot of chilies and fish sauce. I don’t much mind the smell to be quiet honest with you, but it’s your call.
  5. Let cool, then store in a seal tight container for up to several weeks. Trust me, it will not last that long as this stuff rocks.
  6. I know it sounds like a lot of chili peppers, but trust me, the addition of the salty fish sauce, and balanced by both the brown and palm sugars, it is a perfect sweet heat. I actually had a spoonful this morning before putting some on my omelette. This sauce goes extremely well with things like fried fish, eggs, or just as a condiment for things like french fries. Give a go at it, and let me know how you like it. Hope you enjoy!