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Thai Papaya Salad

Thai Papaya Salad, also known as Som Tam, is a vibrant and zesty dish that originates from Thailand. This refreshing salad showcases the perfect balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and tangy flavors. Made with shredded green papaya, fresh herbs, chili peppers, and a tangy dressing, it is a popular and beloved Thai street food.
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The Story

Thai Papaya Salad, Som Tam, is a quintessential dish in Thai cuisine. It is a medley of textures and flavors, combining crisp green papaya, aromatic herbs, crunchy peanuts, and a tangy dressing. This salad is known for its unique combination of sweet, sour, and spicy tastes, creating a refreshing and satisfying dish.


1 small green papaya, peeled and shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Thai chili peppers, finely chopped (adjust to spice preference)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 small tomato, cut into thin wedges
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 Servings

Prep Time:

0 Hrs 15 Mins

Cook Time:

0 Hrs 10 Mins

Total TIme:

0 Hrs 0 Mins



In a large mixing bowl, combine minced garlic, chopped chili peppers, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the ingredients are well combined, creating the dressing for the salad.


Add the shredded green papaya to the bowl and toss it with the dressing. Use your hands or tongs to gently massage and mix the papaya with the dressing, allowing the flavors to blend.


Add the tomato wedges, chopped cilantro, and mint leaves to the bowl. Toss everything together to evenly distribute the ingredients.


Sprinkle the roasted peanuts over the salad and give it a final toss.


Transfer the Thai Papaya Salad to a serving dish or individual plates.


Serve the salad immediately as a refreshing side dish or as a light main course.

Tips for this recipe

For added flavor and texture, you can incorporate other ingredients into the salad, such as shredded carrots, green beans, or grilled shrimp. Adjust the spiciness by adding or reducing the amount of chili peppers. Additionally, pounding the papaya lightly with a mortar and pestle before shredding it can help to soften its texture and enhance the absorption of flavors.

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