Kohlrabi being very similar in taste and texture to green papaya, lends itself beautifully to this Thai salad. It is a relative of the cabbage family and is rich in vitamin C, B6, and trace vitamins and minerals. In Thailand this salad is known as Som Tum, with “som” meaning sour and “tum” referring to the pounding sound of a pestle that is used to crush the dressing ingredients! If you don’t have a pestle and mortar the dressing can be blended or mixed in a food processor. The kohlrabi pictured below is purple however; it is most often pale green.
- 3 fist sized kohlrabi, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 red birds eye chill, seeds removed, minced
- 1/2 tsp. pink himalayan salt
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
- juice of 1 lime
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 cup of toasted peanuts or almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- a splash of tamari to taste
With a mandolin, slice the kohlrabi into very thin spaghetti like strips. If you don’t have a mandolin you can grate it coarsely but the mandolin gives it a much nicer texture. Set aside in a medium sized bowl.
In a mortar, combine the garlic, shallots, red chili and salt. Grind with the pestle to a smooth paste.
Add the chopped tomato and crush gently into the paste. (Alternatively using a food processor or blender in place of the mortar and pestle)
With your hands gently massage the mixture into the kohlrabi. Add the coconut sugar, lime juice, and orange juice. Season to taste with a splash or two of tamari. Serve topped with chopped peanuts or almonds and cilantro and mint.