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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Kohlrabi Recipes - Including my Favourite Thai dish Som Tom

kohlrabi recipe som tom
Som Tom using kohlrabi!

A few days ago I declared my absolute ignorance to a vegetable I now know as kohlrabi. After reading the suggested uses from the comments on my post, the thought came to me that I might be able to use this as a substitute in som tom instead of a papaya. Here in the UK, I've never come across the kind of papaya that is right for this dish. It needs to be mostly green, with a tiny bit of yellow coming through.

Traditionally, som tom is made using unripe papaya and fish sauce. However, I've made a few alterations, which I promise doesn't destroy the quality of this dish*. The first change was using salt instead of fish sauce. Fish sauce is.. well.. from fish.. this doesn't quite site well with me, and has an interesting smell to it. And the second change (recently discovered substitute), is using kohlrabi instead of papaya.

• 1 kohlrabi peeled and grated
• 1 large tomato cute into thin wedges
• 1 grated carrot (option. bulks up and adds colour)
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• Fresh chili or chili flakes (add to taste)
• Pinch of salt
• Pinch of sugar
• 1 lime (add more to taste)
• Roasted peanuts

kohlrabi recipe som tom

• Place grated kohlrabi into a pestle and mortar, toss in tomato wedges and finely chopped garlic. Bash this together so the tomatoes have lost their shape.
• Add all the flavouring (salt, sugar, lime juice, chili), and continue to bash for 1-2 minutes.
• Taste. If you find it very sour, add some sugar. Or too sweet, add some lemon and a tiny pinch of salt.
• Finally, add freshly roasted and crushed peanut to this dish.

That's it! Easy hey? If you know how to use your taste buds while you're cooking, you are not going to be disappointed!

You can eat this with ordinary rice, vermicelli noodles, as a side salad, or my favourite - sticky rice!

Other ideas that came from some viewers were:

From Fredelimaliya: Cook in salty water like a potato, and serve with "bechamel" (white sauce) sauce.
From Fredelimaliya: Cut into little pieces and use in a green salad.
From Fredelimaliya: Thinly sliced, braded and then fried.
From Melissa: Peel it, sprinkle with salt, and eat it! (Melissa insists this must be done while sitting out the back in the sunlight. I agree.)

There you have it. I've had a wonderful introduction to using kohlrabi, and I can't wait to have some more to make one of my favourite dish som tom!

* How do I know that substituting fish sauce with salt works just as well? Because I use to have fish sauce, as only at the beginning of last year have I become 100% vegetarian. Trust me.. it works.

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