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Thai Food Recipe - How To Make Som Tam, Green Papaya Salad

Updated on July 21, 2011
Papaya Salad - Som Tam
Papaya Salad - Som Tam

Papaya Salad
Som Tam is perhaps the most common staple food for Thai women. This Thai Style papaya salad is made with a green, unripe papaya, and is thought to be some kind of an aphrodisiac. It is also thought that eating this papaya salad dish on a daily basis will keep you slim, perhaps this is why the dish is more popular with Thai women than men. Different variations of Som Tam are popular in certain Thai provinces. In the northeastern provinces Som Tam is likely to include fermented fish sauce or pickled land crabs, something that most westerners would not find appealing. The recipe below is a version found in the central provinces, without any fermented fish or land crabs. This dish is often served with sticky rice and BBQ chicken.

Thai Bowl And Mallet
Thai Bowl And Mallet

How To Make Papaya Salad
When Thai people order papaya salad in a restaurant, they normally request a certain amount of sugar and chili suited to their taste. In many cases they will actually add these ingredients themselves at smaller restaurants and food vendors. Som Tam is a personalized dish, that everyone likes spiced a little differently. You can experiment with different amounts of sugar and chili in order to achieve the flavour you enjoy the most. Normally Som Tam is made in a bowl and mallet in Thailand, as this is a common tool in Thai kitchens. You may have to work without this as it is not so common in western kitchens. Simply use the flat side of a large chopping knife to crush the garlic and beans, and then stir the remaining items in a salad bowl.


1 green papaya - shredded
1/4 cup of peanuts - crushed
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
6 cherry tomatoes - halved
1/2 teaspoon of MSG (optional)
juice from 2 small limes
6 fresh red Thai chili - chopped
2 yard long beans - chopped

Cooking Instructions:

1: Place the chili in the bowl and crush with the mallet

2: Add the tomatoes, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and MSG

3: Stir and crush with the mallet lightly

4: Add the yard long beans and papaya

5: Stir and crush with the mallet lightly

6: Add the peanuts and stir

7: Serve with sticky rice, BBQ chicken and fresh sliced cucumber and yard long beans

Video Demo


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    • TravelinAsia profile image

      TravelinAsia 7 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      Thanks Deepak, I hope you learned some new words.

    • profile image

      deepakkumaarr 7 years ago

      Good hub i like it ... !

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 7 years ago

      Oh, how I love this dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am going to try it out.