Now, visiting a farmer's market gets me all excited since there isn't one in Singapore। What I saw were lots of locally grown green produce, harvested at the peak of their incredible flavours and sold at a reasonable prices since there's no pesky middle man.The first thing that caught my eye over there were Thai snake beans ( see picture).
They were long, lovely and luscious. Using my pidgin Cantonese, I bought a huge bunch right away (HK$15). I must have tickled the farmer since she rewarded with a stalk of fresh basil. So what did I do in return? I bought some more basil, a bouquet of mint and a bunch of okra. In the midst of my buying frenzy, I suddenly noticed green papayas. Yes, GREEN PAPAYAS, that meant I could make Som Tum!
I nearly cried tears of joy when I got those papayas. Reason? I was craving for gd ol' Thai food since all the Som Tum that I've tried over here were sissified versions of the real thing. Limp green papaya with loads of vinegar and little chilli. Horrors! There was even one eatery which replaced real chilli with chilli sauce.Good Som Tom required fresh, crisp green papayas, flavoured by salty nam pla (fish sauce) , balanced by sweet nam taan bik (palm sugar) and spiked with stinging bird's eye chilli. It's really a celebration of flavours. In BKK, the Som Tum is so spicy that it numbs your tongue and brings tears to your eyes. Yeah, this is one sadistic salad to die for.
Fortunately for moi, I had my hidden stach of real Thai ingredients, bought at the sleazy Metro Golden Mile Thai supermart just before I left Singapore. Hubby thought I was crazy to lug this to HK. Well, no more. Suddenly, it dawned to him why I lugged along an authentic thai motar and pestle.
I made a successful batch of Som Tom and it was so good that we finished it before I could photograph it. We ran out of snake beans when I finally photograph the damm dish and it didn't last too long in the bowl either. Now, all we need to complete the meal is some Beer Chang. Now, where can I get some Thai beer over here?
Details on the Organic Farmer's Market@ Star Ferry Terminal over here.
Recipe: Use a traditional Thai Mortar and Pestle , a stone one like this will last you for ages. Pound these ingredients in systematically, 2 cloves of skinned garlic, 2 shallots(eschalots), 1-2 strings of snake bean(long bean) snapped into 3cm lengths, 5-6 halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 green papaya, shredded ( Use a vegetable shredder to minimise loss of fingers), 3 tsp of Thai Fish Sauce, freshly squeezed juice of 1 Thai Lime (they're big, fleshy and green), 2-3 tsp of crushed Thai Palm Sugar
Top it off with crunchy roasted peanuts before you serve.