This rustic clay pestle and mortar is used to make a wide range of dishes from Thailand and Laos, notably the Thai papaya salad, som tum.
Som tum combines sour lime juice, spicy chilli, salty fish sauce, tangy unripe papaya (or even swede!) and palm sugar. Shrimp paste, tamarind paste and garlic also work well in the dish. The ingredients are pounded together in a Som Tum pestle and mortar. In Thai restaurants som tum is made to order according to the customer’s taste – try playing around with the flavours to create the perfect balance.
This sturdy mortar is made of clay, measuring 23cm in diameter at the top and 13cm at the base. Meanwhile the pestle is 33cm long and the colour of wood can vary from pale to dark. Before use, wash the pestle and mortar in warm, soapy water.
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