This refreshing carrot salad is adapted from a classic Thai salad, Som Tum, which is usually made of grated unripened papaya. Som Tum is known for its fiery and tangy flavour. It is often served with roasted peanuts, fresh long green beans and cabbage. This version is a recipe passed down from my grandmother and it's very easy to make and ingredients are readily available. It's a light and healthy salad that goes well as a side for other meat dishes. In case you want to go on a diet, this carrot salad dish is great on its own as it is low in carbs and high in vitamins. Here, I've used coconut palm sugar for its sweetness and richness in flavour, but brown sugar can also be substituted. Palm sugar is high in nutrient content and low in glycemic content so it is a better option for diabetic and health conscious consumers.
3 cloves of garlic
2-3 chili peppers
2 cups grated carrots
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. palm sugar
1 tbsp. ground peanuts
1 tbsp. shredded dried shrimp (can be found at asian grocery stores)
Using pestle and motar, crush garlic cloves and chilies together. Add grated carrots into the motar and pound the ingredients well with pestle. This process is done to get some of the carrot juice out, and let the flavours seep into the carrots easier. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Mix well, and keep pounding. If you don't have those, another method is to mince them up finely and toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Let the carrots sit for 20 - 30 minutes before serving. Plate once the seasoning are well mixed in. Top the salad with peanuts and dried shrimp and garnish with arugula, grape tomatoes, and cilantro.