Green Papaya Salad

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Green papaya salad goes by ‘som tum’ in Thailand, som means sour, while tum is a reference to the pounding sound a large pestle makes when crushing ingredients. Often eaten as a snack, or alongside marinated grilled chicken and beef.


  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic (peeled)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry-roasted salted peanuts (and more for garnish)
  • 2 fresh bird chilies or serrano chilies (sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon raw or white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp, dried (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce (Nam Pla), according to individual preference
  • 1 large round, 2 plum, or 8 grape tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
  • ½ pound long beans (trimmed ends, sliced into 1-1 ½ in lengths) (optional)
  • 1 small/medium green papaya, unripe (read below for replacement)
  • Lettuce for serving on (optional)

Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings):

54 calories; 0 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 539 milligrams sodium

The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and preparation. This should not be used as a replacement for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


  1. Use a mortar or blender to pound or blend the garlic, peanuts, salt, chilies, sugar & shrimp (if desired) into a paste. Put paste into a large bowl, and mix with the fish sauce & lime juice. Using a spoon or your mortar, lightly crush the beans (if using) and tomatoes, before adding to the bowl and lightly combining.
  2. Take your peeled papaya, and coarsely grate or shred – discard the inner membrane and the seeds. You should have 4-6 cups worth.
  3. Add the papaya to the bowl, and lightly but meticulously toss everything together. Season to taste. Pile in a bowl (line bowl with lettuce leaves first if desired), and sprinkle with peanuts before serving.


  • If unable to use green papaya, an equivalent amount of shredded cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix) can be used.