Kohlrabi Som Tam

A CSA member submitted this recipe, adding that it would be her choice for a last meal. If that’s not a stellar endorsement than I don’t know what is!

2 medium kohlrabis
2 cloves garlic

4-6 red bird’s eye chillies
2 tbsp dried shrimps
8 sweet ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp unrefined light palm sugar (or unrefined light brown cane sugar)
1 to 2 limes
handful of cilantro, roughly torn
handful toasted peanuts

* Note all measurements are largely guesstimates. Your fish sauce could be saltier, and your limes juicier. Taste and adjust along the way
 * You can also add chopped green beans to the mix, as is traditional.


Peel and shred the kohlrabi into long fine shreds on a mandolin. Add the garlic to a mortar and smash with the pestle. Follow with the chillies, and dried shrimps, crushing them to release their flavors. Add half the cherry tomatoes, and pound lightly so they release their juices.

Add the seasonings- the fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice. Grind it against the sides of the bowl. Keep tasting and adjust. You can do this in advance, but don’t make the actual salad until you are ready to serve, or the vegetables and nuts will go soggy.

Finally, toss the shredded kohlrabi, rest of the tomatoes, cilantro and toasted peanuts in the dressing. You can add this straight to the mortar but if it’s not big enough, you can combine them separately in a large bowl. Finish by crushing some peanuts over to serve.

If making this without a mortar and pestle, you can make the dressing by finely chopping the garlic and chillies, lightly bruising the dried shrimp, and squeezing the tomatoes, before combining all with the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.

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