Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 297

Trader Joe's Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad): Over the last 297 days, I've tried my best to find new foods from as many different places as possible. I've encountered plenty of people that think I'm eating in a new restaurant every day (which would be difficult and expensive), and others that think I'm cooking something new every day (which would be just difficult). Both of those sound glamorous, but I've found plenty of new items in traditional grocery stores. Not everything comes from an exotic market, and today's food is a great example of that.

During my last Trader Joe's shopping trip, I found this package of Som Tam (green papaya salad) in the frozen section. TJ's does a great job of creating prepared foods from around the world, and while all of them may not be truly authentic, they've given me the chance to try several new dishes for the first time. I'm a big fan of their Indian foods, so when I saw this traditional Thai salad, I knew I had to try it. I experienced fresh orange papaya for the first time a couple months ago, but I'd never had this dish, which contained finely shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, and a sweet/spicy dressing.
My diet hasn't been the absolute best lately, so I decided to give this healthy dish a try for lunch today. Preparation was easy - I just had to open the plastic packets, pour the dressing over the papaya/veggies, then defrost in the microwave for a few minutes. The results were actually really good. The papaya and veggies retained a nice crunch despite being previously frozen, and the slightly sour/sweet dressing (mostly palm sugar/lime juice, I think) paired well with the rest. I made the mistake of biting into one of the red chiles from the dressing, which lit my mouth on fire - probably best to avoid those if you're sensitive to heat.
I liked TJ's version of this dish, but now I really want to try it in a Thai restaurant. Considering the insanely hot temps outside, it'd be a great addition to any summer diet.

No comments:

Post a Comment