Then choose your flavor - salted egg, dried small shrimps, salted or preserved freshwater crab which my Thai friend calls "rotten crab". Or if you dare, try raw sea crab. This is the most expensive kind of somtam as sea crab is rare.The ingredients are mixed together while being pounded in a mortar and pestle so the raw crab's fresh juice is blended well to give a distinct taste. I haven't tried it though as I don't eat crab even if it's cooked. For me, I choose vegetarian somtam mixed with roasted peanuts or salted egg or both. When I order, I always say "maisai prik" or "don't put any chili" but still they put one or two because to Thai people, no chili means "tasteless". But my tongue can now tolerate a chili or two as I already get used to it.
Somtam is loved not only in Thailand but everywhere in the world where there is a Thai restaurant. It's not only due to its great taste but also because of its high nutritional value and antioxidant properties.