Green Papaya salad (Thai Style)

Green Papaya salad (Som tam)A couple months ago I came across this exotic and delicious looking salad on pinterest called Som Tam – A traditional green papaya salad from Thailand. Wow, I said to myself. Green Papaya shredded into strips like noodles with green beans and with garlic and green chillies. The most intriguing part for me was the use of a mortar and pestle to pound and crush everything together to get all the flavors out. Oh boy, I definitely needed to try this one! I had to wait a few weeks till I could get a good looking green papaya from the asian grocers.

The only hard part of this salad is to convert the papaya into thin shreds. I had to call for help since my arthritis came in the way 😦 However my husband came to the rescue. We had to try a couple different kitchen equipments before finally settling on a mandolin slicer to make thin slices which then he further cut into thin strips using a long sharp knife. Hurray! Major work done.Green papaya salad Thai style

Next step was to pound everything together. I loved it because I hardly ever use my mortar and pestle much.  I had bought it to make authentic guacamole but sadly most of the time when I make guacamole, I just roughly chop up everything together for it. So now pounding the garlic and then the green beans in it was exciting. My daughter helped me with this part. What fun for the whole family to work together to make this wonderful and healthy salad ! This is a really cool and fancy salad to serve at special occasions!

Health benefits of Green papaya- Papaya both ripe and green (raw) have amazing health benefits. Raw Green Papaya is a super food since it is packed with vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. It contains vital nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E and B. The benefits of green papaya are not only it’s nutrient content though, it actually improves digestion and the uptake of nutrients, raising enzyme levels and aids in strengthening the body’s natural immune system1.

For the recipe I found general directions from this site but made it to suit my taste. I used cranberries instead of cherry tomatoes since I don’t eat tomatoes. I also blanched the green beans first because I didn’t think I would like raw green beans in my salad. Do check this site out on step wise directions to shred the papaya.

Linking to Throwback Thursday this week. Also linking to Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777 and Laurie @ ten.times.tea.

Green Papaya salad (Thai Style)

  • Servings: Makes about 3-4 servings as a side dish
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 1 medium size green chilly (I used serrano but thai chillies are preferred)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium size unripe green papaya, peeled, seeded and shredded/cut into thin long strips
  • 8-10 green beans, stem ends trimmed and cut to 1inch pieces
  • ½ of a medium carrot, grated (or julienned)
  • 4-6 fresh cranberries, halved (or use cherry tomatoes instead)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water


Peel the papaya and shred it into thin strips. Keep aside. (Check this site out on step wise directions. I used a mandolin slicer plus a knife)

Blanch green beans by cooking in boiling water for 2-3 minutes , and draining immediately into a pot of ice cold water. Keep aside.

In a mortar and pestle, add the green chilly and the garlic and pound to crush. Add the blanched green beans and pound to bruise lightly. Transfer to a salad bowl. Add the papaya pieces and pound lightly too and transfer to the salad bowl. Add the grated carrots too.

Next make the dressing by mixing all sauce ingredients in a bowl.  Add dressing to the salad bowl and mix well with the vegetables. Add the cranberries (or tomatoes), cilantro, basil and crushed peanuts.

Keep aside for an hour for the flavors to sink into the veggies before serving.


Thai Papaya salad


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Indu says:

    Reblogged this on Indu's International Kitchen and commented:

    An healthy refreshing salad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandhya says:

    Indu, this is my favorite salad. I am so glad to get a recipe from you.


  3. This salad is on my list since long and I am loving your recipe and addition of cranberries in it. The sauce made me drop here! Thanks for sharing at FF this week :).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indu says:

      thank you Sonal! yes this is avery tasty salad especially with all the garlic and asian dressing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a gorgeous salad! I love these flavor combinations! Thanks for linking up to us on Throwback Thursday!


    Liked by 1 person

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