Green papaya salad is the most popular dish among women in Thailand according to a survey I heard on TV there.
It is a Northeastern food that is eaten with sticky rice and other Northeastern dishes such as laab, beef salad and bamboo shoot salad.
The two most popular types of green papaya salad have either dried shrimp or salted crab. Green papaya salad with dried shrimp and peanuts is called som tum thai. The green papaya salad with salted crab is called som tum pbooh. The majority of the ingredients are the same. My mother likes it with both dried shrimp and salted crab.
Thai food is known to be hot and spicy but well prepared traditional Thai dishes should not be predominantly so. There must always be harmony in a dish with the sharpness of the chillies and spices in a curry being toned down by the sweetness of the coconut cream. This also enhances the flavours and tastes of the fish sauce and other delicate ingredients.
Dinner, which is the main meal of the day, consists usually of at least three dishes with rice. Dishes are not considered courses and are served at the same time. It is customary to take portions from each dish and this can be in any order one prefers.
In the olden days, Thai meals were traditionally eaten with fingers, But that practice has long since ceased in the modern society, and nowadays Thai food is enjoyed with spoon and fork. We hope you do enjoy our food in the same way.
If you would like help or advice in selecting your dishes, please do not hesitate to ask us. It is our pleasure to assist you, including vegetarian dishes.