I was first introduced to som tum by my Thai friend, Minty. And after finally making my own, I can see why she adores it so much. Papaya salad is a glorious interplay of briny soy sauce, fiery chilli and silky palm sugar. Although if you shy away from spice, I would suggest leaving the chillies out completely.
Should green papaya prove difficult to find at your local Asian store, try shredding some peeled and deseeded cucumber, courgettes (zucchini), or even sharp-tasting apples. Whatever you use, just make sure that it has firm, taut flesh, making it easy to transform into thin ribbons.