One of my favourite South East Asian dishes 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 with it 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.
1 kohl rabi
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.
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. Mix everything well – wear gloves and mix with fingers as the dressing penetrates better!
Serves 4 as a side dish.