Som Tam - Thai Papaya Salad

Thailand's most popular salad!



The dressing

  • 1 pcs red chili (preferably Thai chili)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar / brown sugar
  • 0,5 dl fish sauce
  • 0,4 dl lime juice
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste


  • 3 pcs Papaya (mix green and ripe)
  • 10 pcs small sweet tomatoes
  • 150 gram roasted peanuts
  • 100 gram asparagus beans

This very popular salad from Thailand is usually made on green papaya in a lovely dressing and a few other good ingredients. This one is both spicy, sweet, sour and salty! A taste bomb in the mouth and incredibly good! Here you can read step by step explanation and it is also located by an instructional video at the bottom of the recipe.

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Step 1

Start by peeling the papaya peel. You do this most easily with a regular potato peeler. Then divide the papaya lengthwise into two parts and remove all the seeds. Rinse them under cold water to remove the last seeds.

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Step 2

Now cut the papaya into thin strips. I used a combination of green (unripe) and ripe papaya. The greens must be cut very thin because they have a harder consistency, while the ripe ones can be a little thicker in size. I think it's nice that the pieces are a little uneven as it gives different textures when you eat. Put them in ice cold water until you use the papaya.

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Step 3

When we are going to make the dressing, it is best and most traditional to use a mortar (as in the picture) This stone crushes and squeezes out the flavors. If you do not have this, you can use a small blender. Add garlic clove, sugar and chili. Crush to a fairly smooth puree. Pour in fish sauce, shrimp paste (optional) and lime juice. Taste so you get a nice balance on the dressing.

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Step 4

In Thailand, they use something called "long beans", but it is difficult to get here. The closest is asparagus beans. I boil these in water for 2-3 minutes before I put them in cold water. This makes them crispy and retains the color much better. I bought pre-roasted peanuts, but you can also fry them a little in the oven if you want. Cut the tomatoes into 2 or 4 parts and now just mix all the ingredient in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well so that everything is covered with the good dressing.

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Now you can enjoy a delicious Thai salad! Below you can also see instructional video. Good luck.