Som Tum Papaya Salad

Total time:
25 minutes

The Som Tum Papaya Salad is one of my childhood favorites. It has every flavor under the sun: Spicy! Sour! Sweet! Salty! And braver souls looking to go the distance can kick it up even more by adding shrimp paste. For a full meal, serve with sticky rice and barbecued chicken. YUM! TIP: Green papaya can be a bit difficult to find, so if there’s no papaya in sight and you’re really craving these flavors, you can always substitute with a carrot.


green papaya, peeled and julienned
whole cherry tomatoes
garlic cloves
cup of green beans
whole Thai chili peppers
tablespoons of peanuts
tablespoon of dried shrimp
fresh lime, quartered
palm sugar, thinly shaved
fish sauce
shrimp paste (optional)


Step 1

Combine dried shrimp, garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, Thai chilis and palm sugar in the mortar bowl and gently pound with pestle

Step 2

Add fresh lime to mortar and gently pound

Step 3

Add green beans and peanuts, gently pound

Step 4

Add julienned papaya to mortar bowl, top with a large drizzle of fish sauce and continue to pound gently

Step 5

When ingredients have thoroughly combined, the salad will have achieved a balanced flavor profile of sweet, salty, spicy and sour

Step 6

Serve with sticky rice

Specialty ingredients you'll need:

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