One of my favourite South East Asian salad is Som Tum. Traditionally it is made with green papaya but here I made with kohl rabi and carrot. It is such a classic and if you get green papaya do try, although kohl rabi works well too. The salad is slightly acidic, a little sweet from palm sugar, a little sour from tamarind contrasting the crunchy kohl rabi, green beans and peanuts.

Som Tum Style Salad with Kohl Rabi
Kohl Rabi


1 kohl rabi about 450g

100g carrot

1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar

1 clove garlic, chopped

½ – 1 finely chopped bird’s eye chilli

8-10 French beans, halved lengthways

A big handful of roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1 small shallot, finely chopped

2 -3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon tamarind paste

6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved

2-3 tablespoons lime juice


Peel the kohl rabi and carrot and shred using a mandolin, shredder or a large sharp knife into a large bowl. Stir in the finely chopped shallot.

Put the garlic, red chilli and green beans into a mortar and lightly bruise with a pestle. Add the sugar, peanuts, fish sauce, tamarind paste, tomatoes and lime juice and bruise everything.

Pour into the shredded kohl rabi and carrot and shallot. Mix everything well – wear gloves and mix with fingers as the dressing penetrates better!

Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

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