Recipe for Som Tam (Spicy Carrot Salad)


1 tablespoon raw unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 large clove garlic, peeled
2 bird or other fresh hot chiles, see; ded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried shrimp powder (opt)
2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chop; ped
4 cup grated carrots
1 head leaf lettuce, washed dried & t; orn into approx 2 pieces
1/2 small head green cabbage, cut into thin w; edges


Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and dry roast, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cool slightly and chop. Combine lime juice, nam pla and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Place the peanuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the processor blade spinning, add garlic, chiles and dried shrimp powder, if using. Add the lime-juice mixture and process until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a bowl; add tomatoes and a handful of the carrots. Use a large flat spoon to press and mash the tomatoes and carrots into the dressing. Gradually add the remaining carrots until the salad is fully blended. (The salad can be prepared ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.) Line a platter with lettuce, place cabbage wedges around the edge, mound the carrot salad in the center and serve.

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