TasteAtlas, a website that defines itself as an encyclopedia of flavors, a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants, released its ranking of the 10 Best Rated Salads in the World (https://www.tasteatlas.com/best-rated-salads-in-the-world).
According to the results, Thailand’s Som Tam, or green papaya salad, has been ranked the sixth-best salad in the world, while hot and sour shrimp, or Phla Kung, was listed at No. 9, rated by the TasteAtlas readers.
No. 1 on the list goes to Greece’s Dakos, followed by Shopska salad from Bulgaria, and Mechouia salad from Tunisia.
Som Tam is a green papaya salad mostly associated with the northeastern part of Thailand, though it is often suggested that it first appeared in Laos. Apart from thin strips of green papaya, this salad usually includes roasted peanuts, green beans, tomatoes, and a tangy sauce typically made with garlic, chili peppers, fish sauce, dried shrimps, palm sugar, and lime or tamarind juice.
The varieties are plentiful and can include various additions. The sauce can also appear in many other combinations, and can significantly vary in sweetness and spiciness. Numerous restaurants and street stalls allow the customers to choose the variety they prefer and adjust the ingredients to their preference.
As for Phla Kung, this hot and sour shrimp salad consists of blanched shrimps combined with chopped lemongrass stalks, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, and mint leaves, all covered with a chili-lime dressing. The spicy shrimp salad is typically placed atop fresh lettuce leaves, then garnished with fresh mint sprigs.
There are many variations of this dish, some of which call for other types of seafood or fish instead of shrimps, or even a mix of several seafood types for a more interesting salad.