I LOVE SOM TUM.
However, unripe papayas are not good for pregnant women, as they can cause abortion or teratogenic. I found this out after I had eaten som tum in my current state and was searching for the recipe, and was reading about papayas. Lucky for me, there have been no complications thus far in spite of the som tum ingestion. Side note- I prefer my som tum from Thai Square. I prefer all my Thai food from Thai Square. And boy do I prefer spicy food when there's a bun in my oven!
This moves me to search for a substitute for papaya. I didn't really have to look hard as I had an excellent green mango salad from Myanmar Restaurant. It was as delicious as the som tum, and comparable in its ingredients. Side note- the most delicious samosas you will ever eat also come from Myanmar Restaurant.
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly chopped
1 unripe or slightly ripe mango, shredded and juice set aside
1 bunch of green onions, all parts diced
1 handful of dry roasted or honey roasted peanuts
1 lime, juiced
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon roasted red chili paste
Juice from shredded mango
Crushed red pepper flakes
Add baby shrimp
Add shredded cucumbers
The mango I used was slightly ripe, so the pale yellow flesh shredded well, but had ample juice to use in the dressing. If I were to have used a green unripe mango, I think I may have had to add 1 - 2 TBSP of pineapple or mango juice to adjust. This salad was bliss. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some samosas and tamarind sauce.