There are some dishes that are just meant to be eaten together, their combined flavours amounting to something akin to culinary kismet – this is such a meal. Eaten on its own Moo Wan is almost unpalatably sweet, but when served with som tam (green papaya salad) the results are nothing short of stellar! Add coconut rice to the mix and you simply have heaven-on-a-plate.
As with so many Thai classics, the key to the success of the overall meal is the balance each individual element strikes when combined. The sweet moo wan counters the tang of the salad, the coconut rice envelopes the fierce chilli kick of the som tam, whilst the salad adds texture and bite; every element has its own role to play in creating the perfect balance, resulting in an almost perfect Thai meal.
Whilst the idea of making the three separate dishes for this meal may seem daunting, the truth is that individually they are actually pretty easy. The trick to preparing multiple dishes for any Asian meal is preparation and timing. The moo wan will keep in the fridge for a good few days, so I would make this in advance if possible. You should start cooking the coconut rice at least 40 to 50 minutes before serving, as it will benefit from being allowed to stand for half an hour after cooking. The som tam must be prepared just before serving, so I recommend prepping your ingredients in advance. However, the papaya should only be shredded just before using. To find out how to make som tam (green papaya salad), please click here to find the recipe.