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Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) Recipe


Welcome to a flavorful journey with our Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) recipe! This zesty and refreshing dish is a staple in Thai cuisine, known for its unique combination of spicy, sour, sweet, and salty flavors. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this delicious and healthy salad!

Origin and History of this Recipe:

Thai Green Papaya Salad, or Som Tum, originates from the northeastern region of Thailand. It is believed to have been created by the Laos people who migrated to Thailand, bringing their culinary traditions with them. The salad has since become a popular dish across Thailand and is loved for its vibrant flavors and crunchy texture.

Things to Expect in this Post Article:

In this post, we will explore the origins and history of the Thai Green Papaya Salad, provide a detailed list of ingredients, step-by-step preparation instructions, cooking time, and servings. We will also discuss the nutritional value of the salad, variations, serving suggestions, storage and reheating instructions, and more.

Ingredients List:

  • 1 green papaya, peeled and shredded
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Thai chilies, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of palm sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • Handful of green beans, sliced
  • Handful of roasted peanuts, crushed
  • Optional: dried shrimp, shrimp paste, crab, or salted egg

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a large mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chilies together.
  2. Add green beans and pound lightly until slightly crushed.
  3. Add shredded papaya, fish sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice. Mix well.
  4. Add tomato slices and continue to mix.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste and garnish with crushed peanuts.
  6. Serve fresh and enjoy!

Cooking Time & Servings:

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Personal Touch:

Growing up in Thailand, I have fond memories of enjoying Som Tum with my family during special occasions. The salad’s bold flavors and crisp texture always bring back nostalgic moments of home. I hope you enjoy making this dish as much as I do!

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbs: 20g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Fat: 7g

Health Conditions and People to Avoid This:

Unfortunately, individuals with peanut allergies, shellfish allergies, or those avoiding spicy foods should refrain from consuming this dish.

Nutrition and Benefits to The Body:

Green papaya is rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which can boost immunity and aid digestion. Thai chilies provide a spicy kick that can increase metabolism and improve circulation.


Excessive consumption of spicy foods like Thai chilies can cause acid reflux and digestive issues. Eating peanut in large quantities can lead to weight gain due to its high fat content.

Tips and Tricks:

For a milder version, reduce the amount of Thai chilies or omit them altogether. You can also add grilled chicken or tofu for an extra protein boost.

Equipment Needed:

  • Mortar and pestle
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Serving plate

Variations or Substitutions:

For a vegetarian version, omit the fish sauce and shrimp, or use soy sauce and tofu as alternatives. You can also add mango or cucumber for a refreshing twist.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve Thai Green Papaya Salad with sticky rice, grilled chicken, or fried fish. Enjoy it as a light lunch or side dish at your next barbecue or picnic.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a microwave or on the stove until warm before serving.


We hope you enjoy making and savoring this Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) recipe. Share your culinary creations with us on social media and let us know how it turned out. Happy cooking!


Q: Can I make this salad ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the salad in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just add the peanuts right before serving for maximum crunch.

Q: Is green papaya the same as regular papaya?
A: Green papaya is unripe papaya with a crunchy texture, while ripe papaya is soft and sweet. They are not interchangeable in this recipe.

Q: Can I make this salad without a mortar and pestle?
A: Yes, you can use a food processor or blender to mix the ingredients, but the traditional method using a mortar and pestle yields the best texture and flavor.

Q: Is Thai Green Papaya Salad spicy?
A: Yes, Thai Green Papaya Salad is traditionally spicy due to the addition of Thai chilies. Adjust the amount of chilies to suit your spice tolerance.

Q: Can I make this salad without shrimp?
A: Yes, you can omit the shrimp or substitute it with tofu, chicken, or extra vegetables for a vegetarian version.

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