"Main ingredient in a Thai som tam salad" NYT crossword answer is:PAPAYA (6 letters length)
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The main ingredient in a Thai som tam salad is unripe green papaya. This crunchy and slightly sweet vegetable is the star of the dish, and is usually shredded and combined with other ingredients like fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, chilies, and peanuts. It is a popular dish in Thailand and is often served as a side dish or as a main course.