Easy Papaya Salad
Papaya Salad or Som Tum (sometimes spelled as Som Tam) is a classic Thai salad. I had the first authentic taste of it in a town called Hat Yai, Thailand.
Som Tum is the epitome of Thai cuisine: perfect blends of hot, sour, salty, and sweet.
Main Ingredients for Thai Papaya Salad
- Green Papaya
- Red Thai bird’s eye chilies
- Roasted Peanuts
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Thai Palm Sugar
- Lime Juice
What Is Green Papaya?
Green papaya is essentially unripe papaya. The texture of green papaya is firm and crisp, making it perfect for a salad recipe.
The taste is pretty mild, almost like a cucumber. It’s also slightly sweet.
Where do you buy green papaya? You can buy whole green papaya and shredded green papaya from Asian supermarkets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Green Papaya Salad Good for You?
Yes, this recipe is healthy and good for you because papaya is filled with nutrients, making it a great source of vitamins as well as healthy fiber. It is also full of enzymes that boost digestive health.
This unripe green papaya is actually even healthier, as it contains even more of its natural enzymes.
Is This Vegetarian Green Papaya Salad?
This specific recipe is not vegetarian, due to the use of dried shrimp and fish sauce. However, it is easily made into a vegetarian or even vegan dish if you take out these two ingredients.
How Long Will Shredded Green Papaya Last?
This recipe will be good to eat for up to two weeks, if you freeze it in the refrigerator. Feel free to stock up on green papaya and eat this delicious and healthy recipe!
How Many Calories per Serving?
This salad is extremely light, with only 209 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
This meal is best served with Thai entrees. For a wholesome Thai meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 red Thai bird's eye chilies
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
- Thai palm sugar to taste
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 6 oz. green papaya strands
- 6 cherry tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
- 1/3 cup long green beans (cut into 1-inch lengths)
- fresh lime juice to taste
- fish sauce to taste
- Pound the garlic and bird's eye chilies until they form a smooth paste.
- Add the dried shrimp and pound until the pieces are broken up, but not completely pulverized.
- Add the palm sugar (cut into small pieces), maybe 2-3 teaspoons at first. More more to taste later.
- Add the peanuts and lightly pound until they are broken into tiny pieces, but not to the point where they form a thick paste.
- Add the green beans and crush them with the mortar until they're splitting and lightly bruised.
- Add the papaya and tomatoes and pound on them to bruise them. You want to crush the tomatoes so they release their juices and give their flavor and color.
- Add a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce and a couple of teaspoons of lime juice to the mix.
- Have in one hand a large spoon to help flip things over in and scrape down the sides of the mortar while your other hand pounds away with the pestle.
- Keep pounding and flipping for a few seconds, add more fish sauce, lime juice, or palm sugar as needed.
- Dish out and serve immediately.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.