Spicy Som Tam Recipe of Gelatinous White Corn
(sohm dtam thai khaao phoht ; ส้มตำไทยข้าวโพด)

By: Hanuman
🔊 Listen to the Thai name pronunciation

Bangkok’s markets are busy from dawn until dusk, sometimes even stay open when most of the city is asleep. Normally, the traffic of shoppers and crowds of office workers hurrying their way masks the busy stretch of shops and food stalls, making it difficult to pay close attention to details.

Earlier this year, however, a strange silence had fallen on the city, civil unrest brought life in the city of angels to an eerie standstill, Bangkokians elected to stay home, and shops closed their doors.

Among the closed shops, with only soldiers scattered around, I saw a woman carrying her mobile food stall on her shoulders in two baskets dangling from a long bamboo pole.

There was something compelling about this lonely figure going on selling her dish in the empty streets. As I approached her, feeling sympathy to her or maybe just plain hunger, I discovered with very much curiosity this delicious dish that was so satisfying amid the general grim of the comatose city.

A twist of the well-known som tam recipe of papaya salad, in this dish gelatinous waxy white corn kernels, replace the green papaya. The unique starchy texture of the corn is enjoying a backdrop of tangy refreshment from the lime juice, a truly innovative interpretation of the classic dish that uses accessible ingredients.

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Spicy Som Tam Salad of Gelatinous White Corn สูตรทำส้มตำไทยข้าวโพด
Hanuman from Thaifoodmaster
A twist of the well known som tam recipe of papaya salad, in this som tam recipe, gelatinous waxy white corn kernels replace the green papaya. The unique starchy texture of the corn is enjoying a backdrop of tangy refreshment from the lime juice, a truly innovative interpretation of the classic dish that uses accessible ingredients.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Thai
Servings 1


  • 1 waxy corn (ข้าวโพดข้าวเหนียว) steam cooked
  • 3-6 fresh bird’s eye chili (kee noo suan) (พริกขี้หนูสวนสด)
  • 1 Chinese garlic (กระเทียมจีน) medium
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp (กุ้งแห้ง) pounded lightly
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, freshly roasted
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
  • lime fruit (ลูกมะนาว)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
  • 3 teaspoons palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
  • 2 Northern Thai sour cherry tomatoes (มะเขือส้ม)
  • 2 yardlong beans (ถั่วฝักยาว) cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) pieces (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup carrot (แครอท) to garnish


  • ข้าวโพดข้าวหนียว 1 ฝัก
  • พริกขี้หนู 3-6 เม็ด หรือตามใจชอบ
  • กระเทียม 1 กลีบใหญ่ หรือ กระเทียมไทย 3-4 กลีบ
  • กุ้งแห้ง 2 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • ถั่วลิสงคั่ว 1/3 ถ้วย
  • มะนาวหั่นเป็นชิ้น 2 ชิ้น จะได้น้ำมะนาวประมาณ 1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • น้ำปลา 1 ช้อนโต๊ะ
  • น้ำตาลมะพร้าว 3 ช้อนชา
  • มะเขือเทศสีดา 2 ลูก
  • ถั่วฝักยาว 2 ฝัก
  • แครอทซอย 1/4 ถ้วย


  • With a knife slice off the cooked corn kernels.
  • To a wood or clay pestle and mortar throw one clove and garlic and as much chilies as you like. Wood or clay pestle and mortar are preferred because they absorb flavors, and improve the dish flavor as they age.
    ใส่กระเทียม พริกขี้หนู ลงในครก
  • Lightly crush the chilies and garlic, the finer you pound the chilies, the hotter the final product will become.
    ตำพริก และ กระเทียมพอแตก
  • Add dried shrimp that have been pounded lightly in advance, work the shrimp lightly.
    ใส่กุ้งแห้งลงไป และ ตำต่อไป
  • Add freshly roasted unsalted peanuts and break them roughly keeping quite large pieces for a nice crunch.
    เติมถั่วลิสงคั่วลง และ ตำพอแตก
  • Squeeze the juice of couple of lime wedges, if you measure add just under one tablespoon of lime juice.
  • Throw in the lime peels as well squeezing the last drops of juice and releasing some also the aroma and bitterness of the oils in the pestle and mortar.
  • Add fish sauce.
  • Add palm sugar.
  • Carefully dissolve all the sugar.
  • Cut couple of cherry tomatoes into rough and uneven slices.
  • Crush the tomatoes in the pestle and mortar, releasing their juices.
  • Cut in 2-3 longbeans into 1cm (1/2”) slices, give them a quick and light bruising mix.
    หั่นถั่วฝักขาวเป็นชิ้น ยาวประมาณ 1 ซม ใส่ลงในครก และบุบพอแตก
  • Add the cooked corn.
  • give everything a last light work in the pestle and mortar, make sure that the juices penetrate the corn kernels. Do not over work.
  • Garnish with carrots julienne and Serve with sticky rice, fresh vegetables and salted duck egg.
    ตักใส่จาน โรยหน้าด้วยแครอทซอยบาง ๆ เป็นเส้น เสริฟกับข้าวเหนียวร้อน กับ ไข่เค็ม
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It is truly brilliant with a revolutionary approach introducing aspects and concepts never broached by cookbooks.
Ian Westcott
Ian Westcott
Sourcing Wines for Discerning Private Clients
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