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Som Tam Taengwaa

We are really into cucumbers right now, and all about this spicy Som Tam recipe from Food 52. Pick up some cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green beans, garlic, and peppers to cool down on your next market run. More like Som Yum!



  • 1 Large cucumber
  • 200g Green Beans
  • 150g Tomatoes
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2-3 Red Chillies
  • 4-5 teaspoons Fish Sauce (or vegan/vegetarian alternative)
  • 4-5 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 handful Pistachios (to garnish)


Roughly chop the garlic and chilli. Pound with a pestle and mortar, or use a knife and a touch of coarse sea salt to make a rough paste on your chopping board.

Remove tips of green beans and cut into 2” sections before adding to mortar. Pound with garlic and chilli until beginning to bruise and break up. (You can just hit them with the back/side of a knife is you have no mortar and pestle)

Add roughly chopped tomatoes, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Combine well with a spoon and break up tomatoes slightly.

Julienne cucumber (I use a julienne peeler, as do most Thai/Laos restaurants, but a julienne attachment on a mandolin or some more time-consuming hand chopping will work equally well) leaving some of the watery centre behind, and add to the mortar if large enough, or combine with the contents of the mortar in a suitable bowl.

Mix all the ingredients together well and allow to sit and mingle for a while. You’ll find more of the tasty som tam sauce develops as the salt in the fish sauce draws out the tomato and cucumber juices.

Stir well once more and plate up with a generous amount of chopped pistachios (I would normally use peanuts but was all out) sprinkled over the top.


About Us

Market UmbrellaMarket Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the power of farmers markets to drive economic and community health in the region. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers MarketThe Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round throughout New Orleans. The CCFM hosts 70+ local small farmers, fishers, and food producers, and more than 150,000 shoppers annually.