Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: o minutes
Thum loosely means “mash or pound together.” The great thing about this recipe is that you can use a papaya (original), cucumber, carrots, or even cooked rice noodles as the main ingredient to make thum-anything. I “splurged” and went ahead and bought the $3 blue shredding tool (trust me, it’s awesome!) at the Asian store to make my life a bit more easier as authentic Lao cooks would use a knife to shred. If you can’t get your hands on padek (fermented fish sauce), you can use fish sauce if that’s what you have on hand but be sure to add sparingly and taste as you go!
Ingredients (serves two hungry adults)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 Thai chili pepper (may adjust according to spice preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste
- 2 large cucumbers, peeled and shredded
- 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 of a lime
- 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of padek
- Cooked sticky or Jasmine rice or cooked rice noodles
- Pound the garlic, chili pepper, shrimp paste, and salt in a mortar with a pestle into a chunky paste or until you can smell the garlic.
- Add a small handful of shredded cucumber along with the tomatoes and lightly mash with the paste.
- Add the rest of the cucumber and continue to lightly mash with the help of a spoon to get the bottom juices to the top.
- Juice the lime, add the sugar and continue to lightly mash to get the bottom juices mixed completely with the cucumber.
- Add padek to the cucumber mixture and taste.
- Serve with your favorite meat and rice or noodles.