Traditional recipes

Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe

Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe

This papaya salad recipe is a ringer for your favorite takeout Thai version.


  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped
  • 3 Chinese long beans, halved crosswise or 15 green beans
  • 1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded
  • 10 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red Thai chile with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Special equipment

  • Julienne peeler or box grater

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Set dressing aside.

  • Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using julienne peeler, peel enough papaya to measure 6 cups. Place in large bowl. Add tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, chile, and green beans. Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle peanuts over and serve.

Recipe by Molly Wizenberg,

Nutritional Content

1 serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 96.6 %Calories from Fat 17.2 Fat (g) 1.8 Saturated Fat (g) 0.0 Cholesterol (mg) 3.5 Carbohydrates (g) 19.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.9 Total Sugars (g) 12.9 Net Carbs (g) 16.5 Protein (g) 3.0Reviews Section

Som Tam—Thai Green Papaya Salad Recipe

This Thai Green Papaya Salad (or Som Tam) is a refreshing and flavorful salad that’s full of exotic spicy kick. This salad includes chopped peanuts, cilantro, tomatoes, and sliced green beans.

I don’t know about you, but when summer comes, our meat consumption drops dramatically and the fruits and vegetables become the fare of choice. Sometimes, we just use cheese or nuts for the protein necessary for a complete meal.

Shrimp also becomes far more important than it is during the winter months. I go through packages of frozen shrimp and plenty of dried shrimp too. Last week when the temperature soared, I didn’t even feel like cooking.

Even though the house has air conditioning, I had to go outside and the heat, even for that short time, killed my appetite. I suppose the five homemade fruit Popsicles I had throughout the afternoon may have also had something to do with it.

Seriously, if you don’t own popsicle molds you really need to buy some. I now own enough to make 18 homemade pops at once. I make all kinds from strictly fruit ones to fruit and yogurt pops.

I hide them in the back of the freezer and dole them out to others rather stingily. They’re great healthy snacks….but back to the reason, I mentioned my lack of hunger.

Anyway, nothing sounded good and it was getting late. Everyone would want something to eat pretty soon. I looked through my cupboards and the fridge to see what all I had on hand if hoped something would catch my eye.

The papaya did, so that’s where I started to search the net to see if anything looked good and used everything I had on hand. I certainly wasn’t going back out to pick up something at the grocery, no matter how quickly I could do it.

I found this really interesting green papaya salad that didn’t require me to leave the house for anything. I even had palm sugar.

While this dish required a lot of pounding and crushing, the extra effort just helped renew my appetite, which grew as I combined all the ingredients for the salad and smelled their delicious blend of odors.

A word of caution is necessary. Don’t overdo it when you crush the dried shrimp, you want pieces, not powder. This salad was a hit and one that I’ll add to my list of favorites.

I wouldn’t have found it had I not eaten all those homemade popsicles, which reminds me, I think a blueberry kiwi popsicle is calling my name.

I like to add Roast Porchetta on my green papaya salad, oh boy! this makes the Porchetta refreshingly good and doesn’t feel greasy at all.

Thai Green Papaya Salad

Our take on this Thai dish stars green papaya, which is a mild-flavored, carotenoid-packed fruit that can help protect skin cells from damage. Use unripe mangoes if you can't find papaya.

red Thai chile or serrano chile, thinly sliced

unseasoned rice vinegar, divided

green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces

large green papaya (about 1 1/2 lbs) or 3 unripe mangoes, peeled and seeded

cup cherry tomatoes, halved

large clove garlic, pressed

Chopped roasted peanuts, for serving

  1. In a small bowl, soak chile in 2 Tbsp rice vinegar for 15 minutes drain.
  2. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook beans until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water drain and pat dry.
  3. Use julienne peeler or food processor to shred papaya (or mangoes) and carrot. Transfer to a large bowl along with bean sprouts, tomatoes and soaked chile.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and remaining tablespoon rice vinegar. Toss with salad, then fold in basil. Serve topped with peanuts if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): About 75 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g protein, 225 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Preparation Time: 15 to 20 min. Cooking Time: 0 mins Total Time: 20 mins     5 Serves 4 to 6.
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I'll admit I took a huge shortcut I had seen on a review of a similar recipe. I used bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage with carrots) instead of the green papaya. And skipped the beans and grape tomatoes and thai chili. It was delicious. The sauce makes it. I was making Thai Musim-style chicken and after all the steps in that I was tired and lazy. The sauce makes it. Oh and in another shortcut, I subbed out the dried shrimp for 1 tablespoon coco aminos. I know . I hate when someone reviews and makes all sorts of changes. But I didn't have time for a run to the Asian market. Maybe I'll try it next time as is, but this was still really good. Like favorite coleslaw ever kind of good.

Incredible! Super treat with sweet chili marinated & grilled shrimp or chicken. Loads of flavor!

Great recipe keep it up by

This was an outstanding dish and very easy to make. I served it alongside a Yellow Chicken Curry also on here. Fantastic meal.

I like making Andy Ricker's Pok Pok papaya salad, but it can be a little meticulous with instructions. This is a perfect alternate for nights when available time and effort just aren't up to Ricker-recipe standards. I do like the green bean blanching step here it makes for a vivid green pop of color in the finished dish. If you use palm sugar, make sure it's softened or well chopped, or you'll be whisking for days trying to get out the lumps. Awesome flavors, will definitely make this recipe again.

Why julienne the vegetables?

Julienning the vegetables adds a crunch and texture similar to that of a pasta dish. As the salad sits and the papaya becomes more tender and wilts into much more pasta like texture as pictured in this recipe. While this isn’t necessary it is the classic way Thai Papaya salad is served in restaurants.

If you prefer not to use a julienning tool (though they are VERY inexpensive and I promise you’ll find yourself julienning everything afterwards) you can also slice very thinly then cut those thin slices into homemade julienned pieces. This will of course create thinner and thicker portions which may be a bit awkward to eat.

Quick & Easy Papaya Salad

Green papaya salad is a dish you’ll find at just about any Thai restaurant in the US, and you’ll see it in street stalls and restaurants in Thailand as well. Thai cuisine expertly combines spicy, sweet, sour, and salty flavors and this salad is no exception.

Thai Raw Papaya Salad Recipe With Lemon Peanut & Honey Dressing

Thai papaya salad is a flavor-filled dish that will make a great starter for a party. It is easy to make, low in calories, and very nutritious. Also known as "som tam", has a crispy texture and combines wonderfully with the spice of green chilies, sourness of the lemon juice and the sweetness of honey.

Thai Papaya Salad Recipe With Lemon Peanut & Honey Dressing, also known as "som tam", has a crispy texture and combines wonderfully with the spice of green chilies, sourness of the lemon juice and the sweetness of honey. Green papaya salad is a flavor-filled dish that will make a great starter for a party. It is easy to make, low in calories, and very nutritious.

Serve Thai Papaya Salad Recipe (With Lemon Peanut & Honey Dressing) with Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup Recipe or Noodle Soup Recipe with Vegetables for light dinner.

A papaya is one of the fruits with the high concentration of vitamin C, potassium, lycopene, beta carotene . This tropical fruit is ranked as one of the most nutritious fruits by the Center for Science in the Public Interest because of its high content of so many vitamins and minerals.

If you like this recipe, here are more salad recipes that you will also love

Thai Green Papaya Salad One of the national dishes of Thailand – Som Tom – Thai Green Papaya Salad. Easy to make and full of flavors. A perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy! Gluten-Free and can be made vegan. Thai food seems to be a problem for Dave. You see the Thais love their food spicy, but unfortunately Dave does not. Even though the level of spice added to Thai dishes made for westerners is considered “baby” it’s still too much for Dave. One of the cooking instructors, Mai, at the Time for Lime cooking school in Koh Lanta said that Thais love their Thai green papaya salad with 10+ birds eye chilis, and for me just 1 is plenty (and for Dave more like 0). Luckily Pad Thai naturally is never made spicy so that is a standard dish for Dave to order. It’s crazy. Mai’s 5 year old daughter is at the same exact spice level I am (and well beyond Dave’s), and her spice level will keep getting built up with time until she can handle more than 10 chilies per dish. While in the Western world papaya is known more as a sweet orange fruit diced up into cubes when ripe, here in Thailand it is most famous in it’s unripe green form. Shredded green papaya is the star ingredient of one of the country’s national dishes – Tom Som – Thai green papaya salad. In Thailand sugar is added to many dishes, not so much to make them sweet, but rather to bring out the flavors of some of the other ingredients. In this dish we get the sweet from the palm sugar, salty from fish sauce, sour from fresh lime juice and spicy from fresh bird’s eye chili. The Thai green papaya salad is traditionally made in a wooden mortar (stone is too hard and will crush the ingredients) and the maker is armed with pestle in one hand and spoon in the other to gently crush and mix up all the ingredients, releasing their flavors. It is not uncommon to see the vendor taste a spoonful of the sauce, making sure the balance is just right. At the end of the day though it all depends on your preference. Many times in a Thai restaurant there will be a tray with 4 containers at the table for you to personally adjust the level of sweet (sugar), spicy (crushed red pepper flakes), sour (rice vinegar with sliced red chili) and salty (fish sauce) that you like in your dish. Personally I love the Thai green papaya salad. It’s fresh, crisp and just perfect on a hot and humid day. I prefer mine with just one chili (per serving) though but I’ll let you decide how spicy you like yours. Ingredients

  • 1 pound green papaya
  • 2 Thai fresh chilies (to taste)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 2 strings long bean (cut into 1 inch lengths) or regular green beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dried shrimp
  1. Cut papaya in half (lengthwise) and remove seeds. Peel the skin of the papaya and shred the flesh using a shredder or knife (the shreds should be thin and long). In a mortar and pestle, pound the chilies and garlic until they're broken up. Add the long green beans and roasted peanuts, pounding only enough to break them up a little bit.
  2. Add the shredded papaya, tomato, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and dried shrimp, pounding until everything is thoroughly mixed together. This dish should taste sweet, sour, and a little bit salty, so you may need to add more sugar, lime juice, or fish sauce to taste. Som Tum is commonly served with roasted or grilled meats, fried fish, sticky rice, Kao Mun Gai and fresh cabbage or lettuce.

Thai recipes calling for lemons, if written in Thailand, are actually calling for limes. Lemons are generally not available in Thailand unless imported and therefore not commonly used.

*If green papaya is not available substitute a combination of shredded hothouse cucumbers (about 2 cups, seedless), carrots (about 1/2 cup) and daikon radish (about 1/2 cup).

Recipe Copyright © 2004 Supatra Johnson, Image Copyright © 2010 Temple of Thai