Som tam and pad thai

I’ve already explained my love/hate relationship with pad thai. Right now, I’m trying to focus on the love, which is that it’s great for cleaning out my pantry. I’m guessing that in Thailand it’s not typically served with som tam, a green papaya salad associated with Isan and Lao cuisine. But such odd pairings result when I let impulse decide what produce I’m going to buy from the ridiculously expansive selection at H-Mart.

In the upper right are a couple of banana blossom leaves. Banana blossom hearts are a traditional topping served with pad thai. The blossoms need to be stripped away of their outer layers, between which you can find small would-be bananas, as shown in the second picture. The core is then extracted, much like one would cut out an artichoke heart. Unfortunately, this one was too tannic and dry to really enjoy, so I ended up not eating it. It still looked pretty though.

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