Thai Green Papaya Salad, also known as Som Tum or Som Tam, is a crisp, refreshing salad, with a medley of various flavors like spicy, sour, salt etc. The use of peanuts gives it an extra crunch.
To blanch: To blanch either green papaya or green beans or any other vegetable, heat water, add a pinch of baking soda (optional) in case of green vegetables. Once the water comes to a boil, add the vegetable (shredded green papaya or green beans in this case), remove it from water after 2 minutes.
To give ice-bath: Immediately after blanching the veggies, put them in ice cold water, until these cool down. Drain out all the water. The process of putting it in ice cold water is called ice-bath.
Baking soda helps retain the bright green color of the green vegetables, and ice-bath helps in keeping the vegetable crisp, as well as maintaining the bright green color of the vegetable.