Deep fried papaya salad, say what?
I’ve noticed more people tweeting me at @bkkfatty with photos and questions about the deep fried version of this Thai salad. The popularity of the dish has risen and it’s more common now to find it at Issan (North eastern Thai restaurants) spots in Bangkok, especially the laid back, quick dinner spots which focus on spicy salads.
However, I’ve never been crazy about the dish. As much as I love my deep fried goodies, the dish mostly tastes like Thai tempura served with a deliciously spicy and sour dipping sauce. That’s not a bad thing, but if a place makes really swingin’ fresh papaya salads, minced meat salads, and grilled meats — I’m just not sure there’s room for it in my regular routine!
Although this may not be may favorite pick, the battered herbs and veggies would make a great appetizer, can be a fun snack for kids and it’s different enough to lift you from your som tam rut when you’ve overdosed on Thai salads!
I believe there’s probably about 100 different types of som tam, but looking to shape things up, I usually have a Thai salad where the papaya salad is swapped it with mango, carrots, corn, or cucumber. There’s endless possible combinations of som tam which makes me feel it’s all too easy to pass on having it deep fried.
Have you tried it? Let me know what you think!
I’ve tried several versions, but these photos are from a place called Som Tam 101/1. It’s located at the top of Sukhumvit 101/1 Soi 15. The restaurant is tiny and they’re trying to do at least four styles of food. Their Thai salads make up for the countryside feel to their customer service. They also deliver if you can’t be bothered!