Ranking number 46 on the list of 50 Most Delicious Foods In The World by CNN Go in 2011, we can see why people go crazy over Som Tum when they are in Thailand.
This dish of unripe or green papaya salad actually originated from Laos, but is now eaten throughout South-East Asia with different variations – especially in Bangkok.
Som Tum translates directly to “sour pounded”. While one might think that this is a sweet dessert, it is in fact a savoury dish that can be very spicy. The savoury attributes come from the fish sauce, garlic, chilli, brined crab and dried shrimps.
It is said that the Som Tum served on the streets of Bangkok were originally extremely spicy due to the use of Bird’s Eye Chilli. However, as more and more tourists flood the city, street vendors have took to lessening the amount of spices used in their Som Tums.
Som Tum Nua at Siam Square is proclaimed to have the best Som Tum in Bangkok and also definitely at the top of every traveller’s list. Many have said that one must at least have a taste of their incredibly delicious Som Tum when in Bangkok for the true blue taste of a classic and authentic version.
Otherwise, Som Tum can definitely be found easily at every corner of Bangkok – in restaurants and eateries, in cafes, at road side stalls and even within kiosks within shopping malls. Be warned – it is so spicy that it might burn your tongue.
For more recommendations, read our guide to 18 must-try dishes in Thailand.