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Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam) Recipe

Use a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients. If your mortar and pestle is not big enough, pound in batches and transfer to a large salad bowl for tossing. Season the salad dressing to taste accordingly – it should be a balance of hot, salty, sour and sweet.


  • 1 Thai green papaya you need 200 grams of shredded papaya
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts or cashews
  • 10 Thai dried shrimps alternatively, 3 tbsp Japanese baby dried shrimps
  • 3 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli) sliced thinly; to taste
  • 4 shallots peeled & sliced thinly
  • 2 raw long bean ends trimmed; sliced to 5 cm (2 inch) length
  • 4 tbsp gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup alternatively, dissolve 3 tbsp honey in 1.5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce to taste
  • juice of half Thai lime (or one small lime) lime rind reserved
  • 5 cherry tomatoes halved
  • coriander for garnishing


  1. Halve papaya lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds. Peel and discard the skin, then julienne 200 grams papaya using a knife, zigzag peeler or a mandoline slicer. If not using right away, soak cut papaya in ice water for a few minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towel before tossing.
  2. Add garlic, peanuts or cashews, dried shrimps, chilli padi, shallots, long beans, palm sugar syrup, fish sauce, lime juice, lime rind and fish sauce to mortar. Pound with pestle to gently crush the ingredients to release their flavours, about a minute. Remove lime rind.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes and shredded papaya to mortar. Pound gently with pestle until tomatoes are softly crushed, moist but still intact.
  4. Toss to coat everything evenly. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with coriander.
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5 comments on “Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)”

  1. A very delightful and appetizing salad! I love your salad bowl too.

  2. I like Thai papaya salad quite a lot but the ones outside are usually quite salty and less on the sourness that I like. Homemade is still best. But I am too lazy to do the prep. work leh!

  3. One of my favourite dishes to order at a Thai restaurant. Glad to be able to enjoy it at home.

  4. I used to eat Som Tam at a Thai restaurant. I loved its taste so much.
    Thanks for your sharing. Now I am able to enjoy it at home.

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