Thai Som Thum

You may be familiar with Thai som thum, which is a fresh tossed green papaya salad. This is a variation of that which substitutes green beans for the papaya, which may be tougher to acquire for some of you! In the video I use fresh Chinese long beans but any green bean will do, so long as they’re cooked properly. I prepared this green bean salad in the mortar and pestle, but you can probably tell that it’s necessary to be gentle when pressing the ingredients together to avoid ending up with a bean paste instead of a green bean salad!
This no-cook, no-fuss salad goes great alongside grilled chicken or really any cooked protein. Serve it with sticky rice and a wedge of cabbage, and you’ve got yourself an easy, healthy Thai style lunch!


green beans
Thai chili
dried shrimp
lime juice
palm sugar


Step 1

Prepare green beans by boiling uncovered for 3 minutes. Strain, throw in ice water, and pat dry.

Step 2

In a mortar and pestle, grind together Thai chilis and garlic, then add chopped green beans and gently press together while tossing.

Step 3

Shave palm sugar and add to the mortar along with fish sauce and lime juice, tomatoes, peanuts, and dried shrimp. Continue to gently press together and toss until mixed well.

Share this recipe: