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Green Papaya Salad

Blossom Lady
Sep 07, 2021 06:33 AM
Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad is everything you know and love about South-East Asian salads. This Thai salad – called Som Tum – is a riot of fresh colours and crunchy textures, brought to life with a signature sour-sweet-savoury dressing spiked with a whack of fresh chilli. Now THIS is what I call a salad! This is a salad that’s about as far as you can get from Western salads. No mayo! No oil in the dressing! It’s a zingy and spicy cold salad made with green papaya, a fruit which might be unfamiliar to most Westerners. Green papaya is simply unripened papaya, and has a juicy and slightly crunchy texture with a neutral taste. More on green papaya below, including a surprise substitution option!

When shredded, flavour clings to the green papaya. The tangle of threads becomes the perfect vehicle for carrying the kaleidoscope of tastes in the dressing: sweetness from palm sugar, salty savouriness from the fish sauce and dried shrimp, fresh tang from lime, and fiery pungency from a generous one-two punch of garlic and chilli. Originating from Laos, variations of Green Papaya Salad can be found in countries across South-East Asia including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Salads can include everything from dried beef to pickled crabs. 



  • 2 tbsp garlic , roughly chopped (10 normal or 4 large garlic cloves)
  • 6 bird eye chillies, , roughly chopped with seeds (use fewer for less spicy)
  • 6 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 1 cup palm sugar , grated using standard box grater, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce


  • 1 cup roasted peanuts , unsalted
  • 20 snake beans , cut in 5cm/2″ pieces (raw)
  • 3 cups grape tomato , cut in half (~400g / 14oz)
  • 500g / 4 cups green papaya , shredded, TIGHTLY packed cups (~1 medium, 2/3 large)
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
Prep Time:
25 minutes
Cook Time:
0 minutes
Total Time:
25 minutes
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