Thai papaya salad

Thai Papaya Salad – Som tam

Som Tam Thai papaya salad

Som Tam Thai papaya salad
Thai papaya salad

Thai raw papaya salad is called Som Tam, it is thought to be northern or north eastern Thai food. Its made from raw papaya scrapings, palm sugar, chilies, dried shrimp or mud crab, peanuts and lemon juice. It is very popular with the Thais, usually eaten with sticky rice and grilled chicken or pork. Som tam rounds up the meal. Its always made fresh in front of the customer or just before eating it. A pestle and mortar is used to pound all the ingredients together. If you are in Chiangmai, Chiangrai and Phitsanulok or any northern Thai city, try Som Tam with sticky rice and grilled chicken, this is how the locals eat it. Its also anytime snack, goes well with breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner and any other time of the day. Som Tam yummmmy.

How to make Som Tam?

To make Som Tam you would need a Pok Pok (mortar and pestle). There are many variations of Som Tam in Thailand. It can be made Vegan or the regular classic Thai style which uses fish sauce and shrimp.

Som Tam recipe


Shredded raw papaya – 1 cup

Roasted peanuts – 2 spoons (your preference)

bean sprouts – half a cup

Green long beans – 2 stalks

Tomatoes – 1

Fresh Coriander – a few leaves

Fresh Basil – a few leaves

1 lemon

Dried Shrimp – 1 spoonful

Fish sauce – 2 spoonfuls

Sugar/palm sugar – 1 spoonful

1 julienne of garlic

Optional ingredients are boiled mud crab or other vegetables.

Step by step instructions :

Step 1 – put shredded green papaya, chopped long beans, garlic and tomatoes in to the pok pok. lightly pound them in a pok pok -mortar and pestle.

Step 2 – add all the other ingredients like fish sauce, palm sugar, tomatoes, dried Shrimp, lemon juice and roasted peanuts and mix well.

Serve in a dish.This recipe is authentic and from Thailand. It does not contain foreign ingredients like you see in other recipes of Som Tam online. This recipe serves 1 to 2 people. It is a salad that is eaten either as a side dish for Gai yang (grilled chicken Thai style) or as a anytime snack. It is eaten everywhere in Thailand and is common street food. The street price is 35 bahts a serving.

How does Som Tam taste?

It tastes fresh, sweet and slightly sour with a nutty after taste from peanuts. Dried Shrimp give it a nice salty twist. If mud crab is added then expect a fishy sea food smell as well.