Tam Sam Thai Salad


Tam Sam Thai Salad


The name for this classic Thai salad comes from the ‘tam tam’ sound made by the traditional pounding of the salad with a pestle and mortar . Adjust the chilli to your taste. I also read recently of a version made entirely with julienned snake beans. Some versions use green mango, others cucumber or even green apple in place of the pawpaw.

Serves 4



2 tsp garlic
3 red chillies-or more if liked
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp dried prawns
1 small tomato, roughly chopped
3 snake beans or about 10 stringless beans, cut into 5cm lengths
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cups shredded pawpaw (papaya)-from most Asian stores and better green grocers
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
8 scallops
vegetable oil



In a mortar and pestle, or food processor, grind the garlic, chillies and salt until they are a fine paste. Add the prawns and continue to pound until the mixture is smooth. Add the tomatoes and the beans and crush slightly. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice. Add the pawpaw, lightly crushing it as it is added. Serve garnished with the peanuts. For the scallops, simply lightly oil and season the scallops and sear in a hot pan for thirty seconds on either side until coloured but still undercooked in the centre. Serve with the salad.