This is another salad made in a ‘Pok Pok’ mortar and pestle.
‘Tum Farang’ ตำฝรั่ง is not a very commonly seen salad, but one that I really like because of its main ingredient… guava.

‘Farang’ is the Thai term to describe things of foreign origin as in the case of Culantro. It is also the Thai name for guava a fruit originated from central America. This is a simple to make salad that is done entirely in a ‘Pok Pok’ the famous clay mortar with the wooden pestle used for the preparation of ‘Som Tum’.

Large green guava is the kind found in Thailand and used in this salad. It is crisp slightly sweet and has very subtle guava smell if at all. While some are not fond of guava, especially because of the pungent smell of the ripe fruit, this salad using the green unripe fruit is actually accepted by guava adversaries, as one of my good friends can attest.

The dressing comprises tamarind, lime, coconut sugar, light soy and of course ‘Kee Nu’ chilies for the necessary zing. The lime adds a layer of tartness and freshness on top of the tamarind sourness.

Such a great salad!

Ingredients and preparations

Mortar:

  • Green guava sliced into irregular pieces
  • Roasted cashew nuts

Dressing:

  • 2-5 ‘KeeNu’ chilies
  • 3 tbs Coconut sugar
  • 1 tbs Tamarind Puree
  • 1 tbs Lime juice
  • 2 tbs Light soy sauce

Aromatics and garnishes:

  • More roasted cashew nuts
Method

1.Deep fry or roast the cashew nuts ahead of the preparation. Soften the tamarind pulp in warm water, remove all seeds and fibrous pieces and pound or use a mixer to turn it into a smooth puree. Wash the lime thoroughly as they are added peel on to the salad.

2.In a ‘Pok Pok’ mortar and pestle, crush the chilies then add the coconut sugar and pound it together with the chilies. Add the tamarind puree and pound it to further liquify the sauce. Squeeze fresh lime into the mortar and throw in the squeezed lime to add extra fragrance, season with light soy sauce stir and taste to verify the desired flavor. The sauce should be sweet, sour and hot with just enough saltiness to support it all.

3.Slice the guava into two inch long irregular pieces. I prefer the Thai traditional way of shredding of hitting the guava repeatedly lengthwise with a knife and turning it perpendicularly to shave off the guava pieces. Add the guava to the mortar and gently pound it with the pestle and stir with a spatula to coat it fully with the sauce. Add cashew nuts and stir them gently into the salad. Transfer into a serving bowl.

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